Attwood handed lengthy ban
Lock suspended for nine-weeks after stamp against La Rochelle
Last Updated: 06/01/11 5:48pm
Attwood: Nine-week ban
England and Gloucester lock Dave Attwood has been banned for nine weeks after his citing for stamping on La Rochelle prop Petrisor Toderasc.
Attwood will not be able to play until February 21 after admitting the charge at an independent European Rugby Cup disciplinary hearing on Thursday.
The suspension means that he will be unavailable for the first two matches of England's Six Nations campaign against Wales and Italy.
The 23-year-old made his international debut when he came off the bench against New Zealand at Twickenham in November.
The incident occurred during a Pool Five Amlin Challenge Cup contest at Kingsholm on December 19 and resulted in Toderasc receiving facial injuries.
Attwood admitted the citing complaint, but also maintained that he did not intend to make contact with the face of the Romanian international.
Independent judicial officer Robert Williams took video footage of the incident, medical reports relating to Toderasc's injuries and testimony from Attwood into account at the hearing.
Williams found the stamp to be in the top-end range for the offence's level of seriousness and decided on an entry point of 18 weeks.
But after considering mitigating factors, including Attwood's guilty plea, remorse and what was described as his "exemplary conduct" at the hearing, Williams decided to halve the suspension.
The ban was back-dated to begin on the day of the match in order to take into account Attwood's suspension by Gloucester - a two-week ban imposed after the game.
Attwood has previously faced two charges of stamping that arose from England's draw against the Australian Barbarians in Perth last June but they were dropped on a technicality.