Josh Helps of Scarlets has been banned for five weeks for a reckless tackle that left an Edinburgh player needing facial surgery over the weekend.

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Helps was hauled into a disciplinary meeting following on from a red card he received during Round 4 of the Guinness PRO14. The hit in question left Edinburgh’s George Taylor needing surgery for “a broken jaw, cheekbone and nose” inflicted in the head-to-head tackle.

Helps was shown a red card during the hard-fought game t at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli by referee Chris Busby (IRFU) under Law 9.11 – Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others. The Welsh side went on to lose 3 – 6.

The Disciplinary process for the red card offence was presided over by Judicial Officer John Carroll (IRFU). The Player accepted that his actions were reckless and that the offence warranted a red card. The incident was deemed a top-end offence, which carries a 10-week suspension.

Having reviewed all of the evidence available and considered the Player’s previous clean disciplinary record, acceptance of his actions, co-operation and his apology, the Judicial Officer followed World Rugby guidelines and applied mitigation, bringing his ban to five weeks.

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill described the hit as ‘nasty’.

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“He [Taylor] got a broken jaw, a broken cheekbone and a broken nose, so he’s having surgery as soon as possible, and we’re probably looking at between eight and 12 weeks back to play,” told Cockerill The Offside Line.

“[It was a] pretty nasty one, to be honest,” he continued. “I know there was lots of comment at the time around there was no intent, etcetera, but if you lead with your head, which effectively is pretty much a flying head-butt, really, you’re going to cause damage.”

The player will be free to play from midnight on December 13, 2020 and was reminded of his right to appeal.

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