Banned Duhan to miss Scotland’s Six Nations finish

Duhan van der Merwe has been banned from Scotland’s final two games of this season’s Six Nations Championship after the wing was sent off in an English Premiership match.

Van der Merwe was shown a red card playing for Worcester Warriors during their defeat by London Irish this past Saturday after his forearm made contact with the face of fellow Scotland squad member Kyle Rowe.

The ban, imposed by an independent Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel on Tuesday, rules Van der Merwe out of Scotland’s remaining games with Italy and Ireland.

Suspensions in one rugby union competition generally apply to all other tournaments.

That now means the 26-year-old Van der Merwe, who has scored 10 tries in 16 Tests, has been ruled out of both Scotland’s match against Italy in Rome this coming Saturday and their concluding Six Nations game away to Ireland in Dublin on 19 March.

The South African-born flyer will, however, be free to play for Worcester against Gloucester on 25 March, subject to completing the World Rugby coaching intervention programme.

A statement issued by the panel said Van der Merwe accepted foul play occurred but questioned whether the red-card threshold had been met.

However, panel chair Jeremy Summers said: “The player had sufficient time and opportunity to have executed a lawful hand-off but failed to do so.

“The contact he then made to an opponent’s head was direct, at speed and involved a leading forearm all of which are factors pointing to high danger and a red card in the World Rugby head contact process (HCP).

“No low danger or mitigating factors were present and, whilst some may feel it resulted in a harsh outcome, the referee correctly applied the HCP.”

Scotland are currently third in the Six Nations, following one win from three games, ahead of their clash with bottom-of-the-table Italy.

© Agence France-Presse

Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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Dylan Jack