• Esterhuizen slapped with month-long ban

    Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen has been handed a four-week ban for his red card while playing for Harlequins this past weekend.

    Esterhuizen appeared before an online independent disciplinary panel on Tuesday evening, after being shown a red card by referee Ian Tempest in the 45th minute of the match between Gloucester and Harlequins on Sunday.

    A TMO review showed that Esterhuizen had thrown an elbow into the face of Gloucester flyhalf Lloyd Evans, who had to go off for a head impact assessment (HIA) and was permanently substituted.

    The 26-year-old was cited under Law 9.12: ‘A player must not physically or verbally abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to, biting, punching, contact with the eye or eye area, striking with any part of the arm (including stiff-arm tackles), shoulder, head or knee(s), stamping, trampling, tripping or kicking.’

    Esterhuizen accepted the charge and was given a four-week suspension by the independent panel comprising Daniel White (chair), with Matthew Weaver and Mitch Read. A mid-range entry point of six weeks was selected, but two weeks were taken off as Esterhuizen showed genuine remorse and apologised to Evans on the day after the game.

    He will be next available for selection for Harlequins’ home fixture against London Irish on 10 January 2021 and will miss the club’s upcoming European Champions Cup fixtures against Munster and Racing 92 as well as their Premiership matches against the Bristol Bears and Worcester Warriors.

    Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack