Toulon full-back Delon Armitage receives eight-week ban
Last Updated: 24/01/13 6:47pm
Delon Armitage: Eight-week ban for Toulon full-back
Toulon full-back Delon Armitage has been handed an eight-week ban after being cited for a tip tackle in last weekend's Heineken Cup game against Montpellier.
Armitage pleaded not guilty to the offence at a disciplinary hearing in Dublin, but his suspension means he cannot play again until 18 March, three weeks before Toulon's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leicester.
He was yellow-carded by referee Alain Rolland following the first-half incident involving Montpellier full-back Pierre Berard, but a complaint was then made against Armitage by citing commissioner Shaun Gallagher.
Independent judicial officer Robert Williams heard evidence and submissions from Armitage and Toulon team manager Tom Whitford.
In a statement, European Rugby Cup said: "The judicial officer upheld the citing complaint and found that Armitage had committed an intentional tip tackle.
"He determined that the act was in the mid-range of the IRB's sanctioning regime (eight weeks) and in line with the IRB's memorandum on deterring tip tackles, and taking into account the player's previous disciplinary record, he added a further two weeks.
"Due to Armitage's remorse and his good conduct during the hearing, the judicial officer then deducted two weeks before imposing a suspension of eight weeks."
Former London Irish player Armitage, 29, received an eight-week ban in early 2011 for pushing a doping officer and using abusive language when asked to provide a urine specimen after a Premiership game.
That was followed the same year by suspensions for striking an opponent during a league match, a dangerous high tackle on Bath wing Tom Biggs and for a high tackle during England's final pool fixture of the 2011 World Cup against Scotland.
Armitage has won 26 England caps, but is not part of the current senior squad.
In a separate hearing, Rovigo centre Joe van Niekerk was banned for five weeks after being sent off for a tip tackle in an Amlin Challenge Cup game against Perpignan a week ago.