France lock Paul Willemse to miss Scotland clash after landing three-week ban

Paul Willemse receives a red card in France v Ireland match Paul Willemse (centre) was a shown a red card during the France v Ireland match (Andrew Matthews/PA)

France lock Paul Willemse will miss his side’s Six Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday after being handed a three-week ban.

The South Africa-born forward will also be unavailable for his country’s encounter with Italy later this month after his sending off during last Friday’s tournament-opening defeat against Ireland.

The punishment was issued following an independent disciplinary committee hearing on Tuesday.

Willemse was shown two yellow cards for foul play during the 38-17 loss, the second of which was later upgraded to red.

He was given suspensions of four weeks and three weeks for the offences, to run concurrently, meaning a ban of four weeks.

He can further reduce the ban to three weeks by applying to take part in World Rugby’s coaching intervention programme – the so-called ‘tackle school’. He also has the right to appeal.

Willemse could have faced a longer suspension but while the committee found his actions “reckless”, according to a statement, they accepted “there was no evidence to suggest the player acted maliciously or with intent in either case”.

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