• Esterhuizen to appear before disciplinary hearing

    Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen could be suspended for at least two weeks after being shown a red card while playing for Harlequins this past weekend.

    The incident occurred on Sunday in the Premiership clash between Harlequins and Gloucester at Kingsholm, which the visitors would go on to win 34-24 despite playing with 14 men for most of the second half.

    Esterhuizen was sent off in the 45th minute of play after a TMO review showed that he had thrown an elbow into the face of an opposition player.

    The 26-year-old will be 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 will appear before a disciplinary committee on Thursday. According to the English Rugby Union’s regulations, if found guilty, Esterhuizen could be banned for a minimum of two weeks, which would rule him out of his team’s European Champions Cup opener against Munster as well as their Premiership clash with the Bristol Bears.

    There is a possibility that Esterhuizen could be banned for longer, though, as he was previously suspended for six weeks in 2017 for a spear tackle while playing for the Sharks in a Super Rugby match against the Melbourne Rebels.

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