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Brad Shields is banned after contesting last Sunday's red card

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Wasps’ ability to field a competitive team for Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup trip to Toulouse has been hit by the suspension of Brad Shields for four weeks. Shields was sent off in the 26th minute of last weekend’s 35-14 defeat by Munster after referee Romain Poite deemed his tackle on Dave Kilcoyne to be dangerous, saying that he had struck the prop’s neck with his shoulder.

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The former England back-rower contested the red card at an independent hearing but it was found that he had “made contact with Kilcoyne’s head and neck area in a dangerous manner”.

The offence was considered mid-range in severity, resulting in a six-week ban that was reduced by two weeks because of Shields’ good disciplinary record. It wipes out his involvement in the second round of Europe this weekend, plus Gallagher Premiership fixtures against London Irish, Sale and Leicester.

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However, the last week of the suspension will be waived if he successfully completes a World Rugby coaching intervention, making it possible for him to face the Tigers at the CBS Arena on January 9.

It is a major blow to Wasps, who are struggling to raise a team for their visit to the Stade Ernest Wallon due to an injury list that accounts for 17 players and an outbreak of Covid. They have since announced they will be appealing the disciplinary hearing decision.

Shields is generally a very well disciplined player and it was last month on RugbyPass when he described his feelings about his first-ever career red card when he was sent off for two yellow cards for collapsed mauls in Wasps’ Premiership defeat to Bristol. 

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His latest red card was ridiculed on this week’s episode of The Rugby Pod, show co-host Andy Goode hitting out at referee Poite for his decision. “He is what is known as a cowboy. He is French, he is an absolute cowboy of a referee, Romain Poite, with that decision to send off Brad Shields with a red card. It is never a red. It doesn’t even make contact with his head for me. Romain Poite, you get the bad this week.”  

  

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