Finn Russell given three-match ban over red card against France

SCOTLAND’S FINN RUSSELL has been given a three-match ban in relation to the red card he received in his side’s Six Nations clash with France last Friday, tournament organisers have announced.

Russell was dismissed late in the second half of Scotland’s thrilling win at the Stade de France, after a high challenge on French full-back Brice Dulin.

At the time of the game, referee Wayne Barnes consulted with the TMO before issuing the red card after deciding that first contact was made to the neck of Dulin.

The Racing 92 player will be able to return to play on either 19 April or 26 depending on Racing’s progress in the European Champions Cup.

His club host Edinburgh in the Champions Cup last 16 this Sunday before a potential last eight tie against the winner of Bordeaux-Begles against Bristol Bears next weekend.

The Parisians will host local rivals Stade Francais on 17 April in the French top-flight before facing Toulouse the following week.

Russell was brought before an independent Disciplinary Committee via a Zoom call today, where accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and that it had warranted a red card.

“However, he did not accept that he had ‘struck’ Dulin and suggested that the foul play should have been categorised as an infringement of Law 9.24 which states that the ball-carrier is permitted to hand off an opponent provided excessive force is not used,” a statement from Six Nations read.

“The Disciplinary Committee determined that the suspension should cover three matches to be played by Racing 92 in the Champions Cup and Top14, respectively.

“Since one of those matches (in the EPCR Champions Cup on 11 April 2021) is contingent on the result of other matches, the suspension will end on either 18 April 2021 or 25 April 2021. Mr Russell will be free to play again on Monday, 19 April 2021 or Monday, 26 April 2021.

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“The Disciplinary Committee decided that Mr Russell’s actions had been properly categorised as striking with the arm under Law 9.12 and found the offence to warrant a mid-range entry point [six weeks].

“The Disciplinary Committee identified no aggravating features. 

“In terms of mitigation, the Disciplinary Committee gave credit for Mr Russell’s prompt acceptance that his actions had constituted foul play and been worthy of a red card, his disciplinary record, his attitude to the disciplinary process before and during the hearing, and his clear remorse [shown by his response to Mr Dulin on the pitch], and reduced the suspension by three weeks so that the final period of suspension is three weeks.

“They reduced the suspension by three weeks so that the final period of suspension is three weeks.”

Russell has the right to appeal the suspension.