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Centre who was banned for 13 weeks for 'foul' act exits Cheetahs for Brive

By Online Editors

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The Cheetahs have lost one of their best players.

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French club Brive confirmed that they have signed centre Nico Lee, 25, from the Bloemfontein side.

Born in Pretoria, Lee came up through the ranks at the Cheetahs. He started in 2014 in the Vodacom Cup side before being promoted to the Currie Cup and Super Rugby sides.

In 2017, he was part of the Cheetahs team that joined Pro14 tournament.

Lee scored nine tries over the last two seasons of Pro14, scoring a hat-trick in an away game against the Southern Kings.

“Nico is a very physical centre. He will strengthen our backline for the next two seasons,” said Brive coach Jeremy Davidson.

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Lee’s 2019 Pro14 season ended in February after he received a 13-week suspension for clearing the contents of his nose onto the face of Colby Fainga’a during the Cheetahs’ match against Connacht.

A panel at the time said: “The Player’s actions are an act of foul play. They have no place in the game. This is not a case of over-exuberance, or an act which is within the rules of the game going awry. It follows that by its nature this act is one that is deserving of punishment. It is contrary to the spirit of sport.”

It was accepted that: “The effect on the victim player was understandably serious. There is no expectation, and there ought never be an expectation, that an opposing player would clear the contents of their nose onto an opponent.”

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“It is difficult to imagine how an act of foul play of this sort could be worse, save for repeated acts or where actual injury is caused.”

Meanwhile, Mitch Lees is to leave Exeter Chiefs and will also be joining Brive ahead of the new 2019/20 season.

The 30-year-old Australian departs having spent the past five years at Sandy Park, where he has amassed 113 appearances, scoring eight tries in the process.

Brought to the club during in 2014 from London Welsh, Lees quickly established himself as a prominent figure in the Chiefs pack.

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