Heineken Cup
Brits hit with three week ban
ESPNscrum Staff
November 17, 2011
Saracens hooker Schalk Brits dives over to score, Saracens v Gloucester, Aviva Premiership, Vicarage Road, London, England, April 24, 2011
Brits' absence will give John Smit a chance to cement his name in the hooker spot © Getty Images

Saracens hooker Schalk Brits has been hit with a three-week ban following his citing in their opening clash of the Heineken Cup against Treviso on Sunday.

The hooker was alleged to have carried out a dangerous tackle on Treviso winger Benjamin de Jager during the first-half of the game and contravened Law 10.4 (j) in the process which is the 'Lifting a player from the ground and either dropping or driving that player's head and/or upper body into the ground whilst the player's feet are off the ground.'

Brits pleaded guilty to foul play and Saracens chief executive Edwards Griffiths also made representations on his behalf. And despite the offence usually warranting an entry point of six weeks, the independent judicial officer Rod McKenzie (Scotland) gave Brits three weeks after taking into account his clean record, clear remorse and guilty plea.

Brits will sit out their clash with Biarritz on Saturday and will be available to play for Saracens from December 8.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh forward Sean Cox has been banned for a week after he admitted striking London Irish and England centre Shontayne Hape during last weekend's Heineken Cup clash between the teams.

Cox was cited following the second-half incident, and that complaint was upheld today by independent judicial officer Robert Williams. Williams decided the offence was low-end in terms of its seriousness level, with a two-week entry point, which he then reduced by 50% after taking into account Cox's guilty plea, clean record and demonstration of remorse.

Cox is free to play again on November 24, meaning he is unavailable for Edinburgh's Heineken Cup appointment with Racing Metro at Murrayfield on Friday night.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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