Armitage handed lengthy ban

Delon Armitage has been suspended for eight weeks

Delon Armitage has been suspended for eight weeks

First published in National Sport © by

England international Delon Armitage has received an eight-week ban after being cited for a tip tackle in last weekend's Heineken Cup game between Toulon and Montpellier.

The suspension was announced by European Rugby Cup following Toulon full-back Armitage's appearance at a disciplinary hearing in Dublin.

Armitage, who has a poor disciplinary record, pleaded not guilty to the offence, but his suspension means he cannot play again until March 18, which is three weeks before Toulon's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leicester.

Armitage was yellow-carded by referee Alain Rolland following the first-half incident that involved Montpellier full-back Pierre Berard, but a complaint was then made against Armitage by citing commissioner Shaun Gallagher.

Independent judicial officer Robert Williams heard evidence and submissions from Armitage and Toulon team manager Tom Whitford.

In a statement, ERC said: "The judicial officer upheld the citing complaint and found that Armitage had committed an intentional tip tackle.

"He determined that the act was in the mid-range of the IRB's (International Rugby Board's) sanctioning regime (eight weeks) and in line with the IRB's memorandum on deterring tip tackles, and taking into account the player's previous disciplinary record, he added a further two weeks.

"Due to Armitage's remorse and his good conduct during the hearing, the judicial officer then deducted two weeks before imposing a suspension of eight weeks."

At a separate Dublin hearing, Rovigo centre Joe van Niekerk was banned for five weeks after being sent off for a tip tackle in an Amlin Challenge Cup game against Perpignan a week ago.

. Montauriol was cited for an alleged stamp, also in the match with Perpignan.

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