Sharks hooker Akker van der Merwe has been handed a three-week suspension for punching Schalk Brits at Kings Park on Saturday.
The Bok hookers were involved in a fistfight after Van der Merwe’s head/shoulder area made contact with Brits’ head.
The incident took place in the 58th minute of the match between the Sharks and Vodacom Bulls. Both players were red-carded.
Van der Merwe appeared before the Sanzaar foul play review committee after being cited for contravening Law 9.12: A player must not physically abuse anyone.
According to the committee’s chairman, Adam Casselden, the player’s act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level. But the suspension was reduced due to mitigating factors.
‘Taking into account the player’s good judicial record and the fact he pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, we reduced the suspension to three weeks.’
Van der Merwe is therefore suspended from all forms of the game up to and including 19 April.
Sanzaar has also confirmed that Brits will appear before the judicial committee for his part in the fight. He is alleged to have contravened Law 9.12: A player must not physically abuse anyone.
Brits’ hearing is scheduled for 7am on Tuesday.
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