Barbarians hooker Brits banned for Farrell punch

Saracens and Barbarians hooker Schalk Brits has been slapped with a three week ban for punching his Saracens team mate Owen Farrell in the British & Irish Lions’ tour opener in Hong Kong.

Thirty-two-year-old Brits punched 21-year-old British & Irish Lions flyhalf Owen Farrell in the face and was almost immediately yellow carded.

Saturday’s match is the last of the season for Brits so he will miss the next three Saracens matches which could include their warm ups next season.

Farrell was holding on to Brits’ jersey and he reacted by punching the Saracens flyhalf in the face.

Referee Steve Walsh showed Brits a yellow card but was heard to tell the Saracens hooker, “Because of the nature of the game it’s only a yellow.”

Brits was cited yesterday by the International Rugby Boardand he appeared before IRB dicial officer Steve Lewis at a hearing in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Lewis ruled that Brits had committed a mid-range offence that would normally see a five-week ban but this was reduced to three “as a result of compelling mitigating factors”.

A statement released after the hearing read: “The IRB’s sanctions for foul play have been established on the basis that a one-week period of suspension would normally result in a player missing one match.

“Consequently, he is suspended from all rugby up to and including the third Aviva Premiership match of the 2013-14 season, unless the judicial officer confirms in writing that any pre-season match shall be considered meaningful for the purpose of regulation 17.19.11 (d), in which case such match shall be included as one of the three matches.”

Brits apologised to his Saracens team mate for over-reacting on Twitter saying,”Lions played very well tonight. Sorry for the over-reaction brother (Owen Farrell), took it too far. Hope you have a great tour.”

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