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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Michele Rizzo facing ban after this shoulder to Gareth Davies' face

Edinburgh front rower Michele Rizzo faces a disciplinary hearing in Neath today following the red card he received during the weekend's Guinness PRO14 match against Scarlets. Rizzo was sent from the park after he was deemed to have charged into a ruck with his shoulder.

A Disciplinary Panel will meet today to consider the red card after Rizzo took out Scarlets halfback Gareth Davies on Saturday. Davies received lengthy treatment on the field after the burly Italian flew into him at the ruck.

Following a TMO review, referee John Lacey deemed Rizzo to have committed an act of foul play against Davies and sent him off under Law 10.4 (h) – A player must not charge into a ruck or maul. Charging includes any contact made without use of the arms, or without grasping a player.

The former Leicester Tigers front rower was bemused by the decision, and later tweeted that he was frustrated to have left his team a man down. Scarlets were leading just 14-8 at the time, but went on to win the match 28-8.

"Tough game tonight... very frustrated to left my mates in 14," Rizzo said.

Davies left the field and played no further part in the contest. He will not take part in Friday's upcoming clash against Connacht at Parc y Scarlets.

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said afterwards: "The referee is the man on the spot and they've had a replay, they've had a look at it and he's ruled it was a red card. We get on with the job but obviously it's disappointing from their point of view."

UPDATE: Rizzo was banned for four weeks

The Disciplinary Panel, comprising of Simon Thomas (Chair), Rhian Williams and Richard Cole (all Wales), concluded that the player was guilty of reckless rather than intentional behaviour and therefore warranted a mid-range sanction point of six weeks.

In light of the off field mitigating circumstances, the Panel applied mitigation of 40 per cent and reduced the ban to four weeks. Rizzo is available to play from Monday, October 23, 2017 and was reminded of his right to appeal.

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