The Cheetahs will be without loosehead prop Ox Nche until the Pro14 final after he was given an eight-week suspension for a dangerous challenge.
A disciplinary committee met in Edinburgh to consider the citing complaint against Nche after he appeared to tackle Leinster wing Fergus McFadden with a no-arms high challenge. Referee Nigel Owens showed Nche a yellow card for the incident.
Ox Nche cited for this, only a yellow at the time.
Hearing tomorrow, ban coming. pic.twitter.com/0BTUUGYtVQ
— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) March 5, 2019
The player was reported by the citing commissioner in charge for alleged infringement of Law 9.12 – A player must not physically abuse anyone and Law 9.25 – A player must not intentionally charge or obstruct an opponent who has just kicked the ball.
The disciplinary committee deemed that the offence merited a red card under Law 9.12 (Striking with the shoulder) and that the contact to the head was intentional, with a top-end entry point of 10 weeks.
The committee took into account Nche’s previously clean disciplinary record and his good conduct, and applied 20% mitigation to reduce the ban to eight weeks.
Nche will be free to play from 19 May onward, meaning that he will only be available for the Pro14 final, should the Cheetahs, who currently sit sixth in Conference A, make it that far.
The 23-year-old is the second Cheetahs player to be given a lengthy ban after centre Nico Lee was suspended for 13 weeks for clearing his nose on an opposition player in February.
Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile/Gallo Images