Red cards in the opening and closing seconds of two Champions Cup Pool 4 matches last Saturday have resulted in a combined total of seven-week bans for the players.

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Ospreys’ Dan Evans, who was dismissed after just 37 seconds of the loss to Racing in Swansea, was banned for four weeks while Munster’s Arno Botha, red-carded with the clock in the red in Limerick, was given a three-week suspension. 

Cited for striking Racing wing Teddy Thomas with his boot, Evans’ red-card was deemed to be reckless foul play. Eight weeks was the appropriate sanction entry point.

However, accepting there were no aggravating factors and taking into account the player’s guilty plea and expression of remorse, the sanction was reduced by the maximum of 50 per cent to four weeks. Evans can play again from January 6.

Red-carded for striking Saracens replacement Nick Tompkins with his arm in the 81st minute of Munster’s win, Botha’s foul play was similarly deemed to be reckless and six weeks was selected as his appropriate entry point.

(Continue reading below…)

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Similar to Evans’ case, there were no aggravating factors and the player’s guilty plea and expression of remorse reduced the sanction to a three-week suspension. He is free to play again from December 30. 

In the Challenge Cup, red-carded Dragons player Taine Basham received a one-week suspension for a dangerous tackle in the defeat to Worcester. 

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