Monday 26 June 2017

Keith Earls to miss All Blacks showdown in Chicago after being handed two-week ban

Keith Earls of Munster leaves the pitch after being shown a red card by referee Jérôme Garcès during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Keith Earls of Munster leaves the pitch after being shown a red card by referee Jérôme Garcès during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Andrew Baldock

Ireland international Keith Earls has been banned for two weeks after being sent off in a European Champions Cup game.

It means the Munster wing will not be available for Ireland's autumn Test series opener against World Cup holders New Zealand in Chicago on November 5.

Earls was dismissed by French referee Jerome Garces for a dangerous tackle on Glasgow hooker Fraser Brown during last Saturday's Champions Cup encounter at Thomond Park.

Despite being reduced to 14 men after just 19 minutes, Munster went on to win the game 38-17.

Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby announced Earls' suspension following a disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday.

Apart from the All Blacks clash, he will also miss Munster's Guinness PRO12 appointment with Ulster in Belfast later this week.


Earls pleaded guilty to the offence, and in a statement, EPCR said: "In upholding the red card decision, the (disciplinary) committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point.

"As there were no aggravating factors, the committee then reduced the sanction by a maximum of two weeks due to Earls' timely guilty plea, expression of remorse and clean disciplinary record, before imposing a suspension of two weeks.

"Earls will be free to play on Monday, November 7."

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