Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey handed four week ban

Centre was sent off for dangerous clearing out in scrappy win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield

Stuart McCloskey has been banned for four weeks following his red card in Ulster’s 20-17 win over Edinburgh last Friday. (Photograph: ©INPHO/Presseye/Ian MacNicol)

Stuart McCloskey has been banned for four weeks following his red card in Ulster’s 20-17 win over Edinburgh last Friday. (Photograph: ©INPHO/Presseye/Ian MacNicol)

 

Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey has been given a four week suspension following his red card in last Friday’s 20-17 Pro 12 win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

Centre McCloskey was given his marching orders in the second half after he was deemed to have cleared out flanker Hamish Watson dangerously, upending the flanker in the process.

McCloskey appeared in front of an independent Pro 12 disciplinary committee who judged the incident to be an act of foul play worthy of a red card, although it was deemed to be at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions meaning he will receive an entry level ban of four weeks.

A Pro 12 statement read: “The Committee added one week to reflect the need for a deterrent for this type of offence but reduced it by one week having noted the player’s previous unblemished record, among other mitigating factors.

“Stuart McCloskey is suspended from playing for 4 weeks until midnight on Sunday 29 March 2015, taking into account a “down” week and has the right of appeal.”

Elsewhere Leinster emerged from their bruising 29-8 win over Zebre last weekend with a clean bill of health, and Matt O’Connor is able to welcome a number of players back into his squad for Friday’s game at Ospreys.

Ben Marshall was forced to pull out in the warm-up for the Zebre game, but he’s is fit again and available for selection, while Richardt Strauss, Tom Denton and Noel Reid have all passed return to play protocols.

Connacht got back to winning ways against Newport Gwent Dragons at a filthy Rodney Parade, and Pat Lam’s side entertain Bennetton Treviso on Sunday with a number of potential absentees.

Darragh Leader has been ruled out after he picked up a late knee injury in Newport, while Nathan White and Kieran Marmion are both doubts for selection.

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