Bok centre gets heavy ban
NEWS: Harlequins centre Andre Esterhuizen and Bath prop Ben Obano both received heavy bans for their respective red cards at the weekend.
Springbok midfielder Esterhuizen received a six-week ban and Obano was banned for five weeks.
Esterhuizen was shown a red card by referee Matthew Carley in the 48th minute of the match between London Irish and Harlequins.
This was for striking an opponent (London Irish centre Curtis Rona) with the elbow, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.12.
He contested the charge but it was upheld by the independent disciplinary panel comprising Jeremy Summers (chair) with Rob Vickerman and Becky Essex who gave the player a six-week suspension.
Esterhuizen will miss five remaining regular-season games that Harlequins have and potentially a semifinal if they progress.
It’s the second time Esterhuizen has been banned during the 2020/2021 season. In December he received a four-week suspension for elbowing Gloucester flyhalf Lloyd Evans.
Meanwhile, Obano was sent off during his club’s Premiership defeat by Wasps on Sunday following an incident that left Wasps flank, Ben Morris, with a broken nose.
His suspension means Obano, who accepted a charge at an online disciplinary hearing, will miss Bath’s next five games including the European Challenge Cup semifinal against Montpellier on Saturday.
The 26-year-old, whose only appearance for England came as a 72nd-minute replacement for Ellis Genge in the opening Six Nations defeat by Scotland in February, will also miss the final if Bath defeat the French club.
The ban also covers Premiership matches with Bristol, Sale and Harlequins, and will incorporate Gloucester on June 5, should Bath lose to Montpellier.
Additional source: AFP