Cardiff Blues back row Josh Turnbull won’t play again until early November after his three-game ban for last Friday’s red card in the Welsh region’s PRO14 opener in Italy. 

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The 32-year-old, who won the last of his ten Wales caps in June 2018, was sent off by referee George Clancy for an early second-half incident with Zebre’s Maxime Mbanda. 

Cardiff went on to win the match in Parma 16-6 but Turnbull will now sit out the upcoming games versus Connacht, Munster and Ulster, the three Irish teams, starting with this Saturday fixture versus Andy Friend’s team at Rodney Parade.  

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A PRO14 statement issued following the disciplinary hearing read: “The player was shown a red card by the referee under Law 9.13 – a player must not tackle an opponent early, late, or dangerously. 

“Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling, or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

“The judicial process was handled by Tommy Dalton (Ireland), who concluded that the act warranted a mid-range offence and that the actions of the player were not deliberate but reckless.

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“The player’s acknowledgement of the offence, compliance throughout the process and remorse shown justified mitigation of 50 per cent, meaning he is banned for a period of three weeks. He is free to play from midnight on Tuesday, November 3.”

The Turnbull decision arrived a few hours after the PRO14 decided that Munster’s Peter O’Mahony was free to play this weekend despite his sending off for two yellow cards in last Saturday’s win at Scarlets. 

O’Mahony was included in the 35-strong Ireland squad chosen by Andy Farrell for their two refixed Six Nations games later this month against Italy and France.   

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