George Kruis handed three-week ban

Saracens lock will miss European Champions Cup pool matches and England Saxons game, but will be available for Six Nations campaign

Saracens lock George Kruis has been banned for three weeks by the Rugby Football Union for a ‘tip tackle’ on David Halaifonua.

The 24-year-old was sin-binned and later cited for the offence on the Tongan wing during Saracens’ 24-23 Aviva Premiership defeat to Gloucester at Kingsholm on Friday.

He pleaded guilty at a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing in London and the panel ruled that the offence was not at the top end of the scale.

The England international will miss Saturday’s European Champions Cup clash with Munster as well as their final pool match with Clermont Auvergne a week later, and can return to play from Tuesday 3 February.

The ban also rules Kruis out of the England Saxons game against Ireland Wolfhounds at Irish Independent Park in Cork on 30 January, in which he was likely to feature.

But he will be available to England head coach Stuart Lancaster for the Six Nations campaign, which gets under way against Wales in Cardiff on Friday 6 February.

An injury crisis in England’s second row during the QBE Internationals in November saw Kruis promoted to make his England debut, featuring as a replacement in the Red Rose’s four fixtures against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia, but his chances of adding to his four caps next month are slim.

If fellow locks Courtney Lawes, Dave Attwood and Geoff Parling all come through their clubs’ respective European double headers in the next fortnight, Kruis is again expected to provide cover.

England name their Six Nations squad at Twickenham on Wednesday 21 January.

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