Edinburgh prop WP Nel suspended for 'striking opponent on the head'

The 35-year-old was cited for striking the head of Teo Bordenave during last Friday’s Challenge Cup game.

Edinburgh prop WP Nel suspended for three weeks for ‘striking opponent on the head’ Paul Devlin via SNS Group

Edinburgh prop WP Nel has been suspended for three weeks following an incident in last Friday’s Challenge Cup group-stage victory over Pau.

The 35-year-old was cited for striking the head of Teo Bordenave in the 42nd minute of his side’s 54-5 victory, in contravention of Law 9.12 which states “a player must not punch or strike with hand, arm, elbow or shoulder”.

Following an independent disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, the committee upheld the citing complaint, finding that Nel had struck his opponent’s head with his shoulder.

It then determined that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

On the basis that the player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and had a clear disciplinary record, it was decided to grant the full 50% mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by three weeks before imposing a three-week suspension.

Nel’s ban is until May 2, which would rule him out of the Challenge Cup last-16 match against Bath on Saturday as well as subsequent United Rugby Championship matches against Zebre Parma and Ulster.

However, if he applies for and completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play from April 25, which would allow him to face Ulster.