March 5, 2020 / 12:02 PM / a month ago

England's Devoto handed four-week ban for high tackle

(Reuters) - England centre Ollie Devoto has been handed a four-week ban for a high tackle that will rule him out of the remainder of the Six Nations, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Thursday.

A disciplinary panel found him guilty of a high tackle while playing for Exeter Chiefs against Harlequins in the Premiership.

Devoto was cited by the independent citing commissioner Chris Catling for his tackle on Harlequins’ Marcus Smith in the 72nd minute of the match, which Exeter lost 34-30 at Twickenham Stoop last Saturday.

The 26-year-old did not plead guilty but the panel ruled in favour of a suspension from March 3 to April 6.

It means Devoto is unavailable for England selection for the remainder of the Six Nations and he will also miss Exeter’s Champions Cup quarter-final against Northampton Saints on April 4.

“There was a high degree of danger to the Harlequins player as a consequence of the incident,” the Independent panel chair Philip Evans said.

“There were insufficient mitigating factors to reduce the red card to yellow.

“He contested the charge, but other mitigation reduced the sanction from six weeks to four.”

Devoto, who came on as a substitute in England’s Six Nations opener against France last month, will next be available to play for Exeter on April 7 against Bristol in the Premiership.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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