Finn Russell will miss Racing 92’s European Champions Cup knock-out match with Edinburgh after receiving a three-match ban following his red card against France last weekend.
The mercurial fly-half was sent off by referee Wayne Barnes after leading with the forearm into the neck area of former Racing team-mate Brice Dulin during Scotland’s 6 Nations victory in Paris.
Russell attended a virtual disciplinary hearing earlier on Monday evening, where the panel found that he had committed an act of foul play, infringing Law 9.24 (A ball-carrier is permitted to hand off an opponent provided excessive force is not used) and not Law 9.12 (A player must not physically or verbally abuse anyone.
Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to, biting, punching, contact with the eye or eye area, striking with any part of the arm (including stiff-arm tackles), shoulder, head or knee(s), stamping, trampling, tripping or kicking), with which Barnes dismissed the out-half.
The disciplinary panel found that there were no aggravating factors in the incident and that the strong fend warranted an entry-level sanction of six weeks. However, due to Russell’s good disciplinary record and the fact that Russell admitted that he had committed an act of foul play, the punishment was therefore reduced to three weeks.
Additionally, Russell’s ‘clear remorse’ shown towards Dulin upon receiving his red card, played a role in limiting the sanction.
The ban means that Russell will be absent for his side’s meeting with Edinburgh in the Champions Cup knock-out match this weekend at the La Défense Arena in Paris and two subsequent matches after that.
His ban is due to be lifted on either 18th or 25th April, depending on the results of Racing’s Champions Cup fixture.