Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell will miss their Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster after he was handed a five-match suspension.
The England captain faced an online disciplinary hearing on Tuesday night to answer for the first red card of his career after being sent off on the hour mark of the Premiership defeat to Wasps at Allianz Park.
Farrell was dismissed for a high and reckless tackle on 18-year-old replacement full-back Charlie Atkinson, who was knocked out and will not train for at last two weeks because of concussion protocols.
The 28-year-old accepted the charge and the panel decided the offence was at the top end of severity, resulting in a suspension of 10 weeks which was halved because of mitigating factors.
The ban rules him out of Saracens’ seismic European showdown with Leinster on September 19, their only meaningful game left this season following their relegation from the Premiership for repeated salary cap breaches.
And if the double winners pull off a shock by prevailing in Dublin, they will also be without their talisman for the semi-final a week later after he was told he can only resume playing from October 5.
“It was accepted by the Rugby Football Union, the player and the panel that the offending was reckless and not intentional,” independent panel chair Mike Hamlin said.