Six Nations
Armitage to appeal suspension
ESPNscrum Staff
January 21, 2011
England's Delon Armitage is tackled by Italy's Gonzalo Garcia, Italy v England, Six Nations Championship, Stadio Flaminio, Rome, Italy, Februry 14, 2010
Delon Armitage will appeal against his eight week ban © Getty Images

Delon Armitage will appeal against the eight week Rugby Football Union (RFU) ban that is set to rule him out of England's Six Nations campaign.

The London Irish fullback was on Thursday suspended for "conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game", ruling him out of action until March 17.

Armitage was found guilty of pushing and using threatening and/or abusive and obscene language towards a doping control officer during a routine test immediately after the Exiles' Aviva Premiership defeat to Bath on January 1.

Armitage and his club have now issued a strongly-worded statement, putting forward their hope that the player can be given "a proper opportunity" to prepare his case.

The statement read: "London Irish is disappointed with the outcome of yesterday's RFU disciplinary hearing, and Delon Armitage will be lodging an appeal against it.

"Having been given just 48 hours' notice of the charges and the hearing, Delon hopes to be given a proper opportunity to prepare his case in order that the appeal panel may reach a decision which takes into account the circumstances of the incident.

"Delon Armitage does not accept that the incident is analogous to abuse of a match official, and he believes that applying a tariff applicable to on-field offences, when this was an incident largely in the privacy of the dressing room, has resulted in the imposition of a disproportionate sanction."

As things stand, Armitage's ban means he will be unavailable for the Six Nations appointments with Wales, Italy, France and Scotland, with his suspension expiring just two days before England face Ireland in Dublin.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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