Jean-Luc Du Preez has been banned for three matches after receiving a red card in Sale Sharks’ 20-13 defeat by Worcester Warriors last weekend.
Du Preez recevied his marching orders just before half time in the encounter, after striking Worcester’s Graham Kitchener with a shoulder charge to the face.
The 13-Test-capped Springbok was banned by Premiership Rugby until 23 December and also received a club fine for the act of foul play.
A disciplinary committee dismissed Du Preez’s claim that his actions were clumsy and initially deemed the transgression to be worthy of a six-week ban, but the sanction was reduced by 50% due to Du Preez’s acceptance of the red card, the remorse he showed as well as the lack of prior offences.
‘My fellow player was carrying the ball and I attempted to latch on to him,’ explained Du Preez, in a note to the committee. ‘He went to ground with the ball and I found myself in front of the ball-carrier.
‘I was in a high position and at the last second, I saw the defending player also in an upright position. At this point, I braced myself for contact and unfortunately made contact with the Worcester player’s head. It was a clumsy contact and at no point did I intend to cause any harm to the player.’
The 24-year-old will miss back-to-back European Champions Cup games against Exeter Chiefs, as well as the English Premiership clash with Northampton Saints.
‘I apologised after the game to the player. Sale Sharks lost the game because of my actions and I have been fined £1,000 by the club,’ added the disappointed Du Preez. ‘I have a clean disciplinary record and I am embarrassed by my actions.’
Du Preez will next be eligible to play against Francois Louw’s Bath at The Rec on 28 December.
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