Schalk Brits is banned for three weeks for hitting Owen Farrell
Last Updated: 03/06/13 10:59am
Schalk Brits: leaving the pitch in Hong Kong after being yellow carded for striking Owen Farrell
Schalk Brits will miss the first three Premiership games of next season after being banned for hitting his Saracens' team-mate Owen Farrell during Saturday's match between the Barbarians and the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong.
Brits, who was playing for the Baa-Baas, was handed a three-week suspension at an International Rugby Board disciplinary hearing in Hong Kong on Sunday.
He was cited after hitting Farrell with his arm during the Lions' tour opener at Hong Kong Stadium. The hooker did escape a sending-off following the incident but was shown a yellow card for his actions.
Brits, who had been cited by IRB commissioner Simon Ryan, appeared at a hearing before judicial officer Steve Lewis.
Lewis decided that Brits' offence was mid-range but a possible five weeks sanction was reduced to three because of "compelling mitigating factors".
A statement released after the hearing read: "The IRB's sanctions for foul play have been established on the basis that a one-week period of suspension would normally result in a player missing one match.
"Consequently, he is suspended from all rugby up to and including the third
Aviva Premiership match of the 2013-14 season, unless the judicial officer confirms in writing that any pre-season match shall be considered meaningful for the purpose of regulation 17.19.11 (d), in which case such a match shall be included as one of the three matches."
Referee Steve Walsh initially penalised Farrell for reacting to Brits but then reversed his decision after consulting television replays.
Saturday's game was Brits's final outing of the season.