Ashley Johnson banned for Dave Kearney tackle

Wasps flanker banned for three weeks for challenge which saw him sin-binned in Champions Cup draw

Wasps’ Ashley Johnson has been banned for three weeks for his dangerous early tackle on Dave Kearney during the 20-20 Champions Cup draw at the Ricoh Arena. (Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

Wasps flanker Ashley Johnson has been banned for three weeks for his challenge on Dave Kearney that brought a yellow card against Leinster.

Back-rower Johnson was sin-binned after just 24 seconds of Wasps' 20-20 Champions Cup draw with Leinster in Coventry last weekend.

The three-cap South Africa flanker escaped a red card despite upending the airborne wing Kearney, who landed awkwardly and damaged his shoulder.

Johnson was later cited, however, and was hit with a three-week suspension at a disciplinary hearing in Dublin on Thursday.


Johnson pleaded guilty to the charge of "tackling the jumper in the air" at the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) hearing, with independent judicial officer Simon Thomas ruling the offence merited a red card.

“In upholding the citing complaint, the judicial officer determined that the offence was reckless and warranted a red card and that it was in the mid-range (six weeks) of World Rugby’s sanctions for offences of this nature,” read the EPCR statement.

“As there were no aggravating factors he reduced the suspension by the maximum amount of three weeks due to the player’s guilty plea, remorse, good conduct during the hearing and clean disciplinary record.”

The 28-year-old loose-forward will miss Wasps’ LV= Cup contests against Cardiff Blues and Northampton Saints, and the Aviva Premiership home clash with Harlequins.