Ashley Johnson handed three-week ban for ‘reckless’ tackle

Wasps flanker punished for taking out Leinster wing Dave Kearney in the air during their European Champions Cup clash

Ashley Johnson has been banned for three weeks after he was yellow carded for his challenge on Leinster’s Dave Kearney last week.

The 28-year-old Wasps flanker was sin-binned by referee Jerôme Garces after just 17 seconds of their dramatic 20-20 European Champions Cup draw with Leinster in Coventry last weekend.

In upholding the citing complaint, the judicial officer determined that the offence was reckless and warranted a red card.

EPCR Statement

Unlike Ulster full-back Jared Payne, who was red carded by the Frenchman in the opening stages of the Heineken Cup quarter-final with Saracens last April for a similar incident, former Springbok Johnson avoided a red card, but was cited after the match.

Ireland international Kearney was withdrawn minutes later with a shoulder injury as a result of landing on his arm after Johnson took him out in the air.

Johnson pleaded guilty at a European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) hearing in Dublin with independent judicial officer Simon Thomas determining the offence merited a red card.

“In upholding the citing complaint, the judicial officer determined that the offence was reckless and warranted a red card and that it was in the mid-range (six weeks) of World Rugby’s sanctions for offences of this nature,” read an EPCR statement.

“As there were no aggravating factors he reduced the suspension by the maximum amount of three weeks due to the player’s guilty plea, remorse, good conduct during the hearing and clean disciplinary record.”

The forward will now miss Wasps’ LV=Cup matches against Cardiff Blues and Northampton Saints, as well as Wasps’ Aviva Premiership clash with Harlequins.

EPCR also confirmed that Sale Sharks number eight Viliami Fihaki and Munster lock Dave Foley were issued with Citing Commissioner warnings following last weekend’s European Rugby Champions Cup Round 6 matches.

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