Gloucester lock Tom Savage has picked up a suspension following an RFU Disciplinary hearing on Friday.
Savage was cited for dangerous play at a ruck in Gloucester’s 30-15 home defeat to Sale on December 28th when he made contact with Robert Du Preez’s head during the second half.
He had a four week ban reduced to two due to his guilty plea, good record and “other mitigating factors”.
Savage’s absence is a blow for the Cherry and Whites, he’s rated as the eighth best lock in the Gallagher Premiership according to the RugbyPass Index, with an RPI of 72. His numbers at the lineout are particularly impressive, with a lineout take score of 84 and lineout steal score of 82.
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In advance of the hearing decision Gloucester had omitted Savage, who can also play flanker, from their 23-man squad to take on Leicester in the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday, with Gerbrant Grobler and Franco Mostert named in the second row.
He will also be missing for Gloucester’s crunch Champions Cup game with Munster on January 11th at Kingsholm. Pool 2 is finely poised with Gloucester bottom, however Johan Ackermann’s side are just four points behind leaders Munster.
In a statement the RFU said: “Tom Savage of Gloucester Rugby appeared at an independent disciplinary hearing this morning.
“Savage was cited by independent citing commissioner Paul Hull following the match Gloucester Rugby v Sale Sharks on Saturday 29 December 2018. This was for dangerous play in a ruck, contrary to Law 9.20 where Savage was seen to make contact with the head of Robert Du Preez of Sale Sharks. The incident occurred in the second half of the match.
“The player accepted the charge and was banned for two weeks. He is free to play again on Tuesday 15 January 2019.
Gareth Graham sitting as a sole judicial officer, said: “It was accepted that the player had attempted to make a legitimate clear out at the ruck. The player’s left arm was used to bind onto his opponent; his intention was to use his right arm to wrap Du Preez around the midriff. On the balance of probabilities, it was accepted that this was not a case of the player “charging” into the ruck. As a result of the Sale player being tackled moments before by another Gloucester player, the point of contact was to his (the Sale player’s) head.
“The player accepted that this was an act of foul play which passed the red-card threshold. The mandatory entry point where there is dangerous play in a ruck, where contact has been made above the line of the shoulders and to the head is mid-range, in this case four weeks. The player was entitled to maximum credit for his plea, good record and other mitigating factors and is therefore suspended for a period of two weeks.”
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