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Australia 11:05 New Zealand

Australia lock Rob Simmons handed eight-week ban for tip tackle on Yannick Nyanga

Last Updated: 14/11/12 8:02pm

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Rob Simmons: Eight-week ban for dangerous tip tackle

Rob Simmons: Eight-week ban for dangerous tip tackle

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Australia lock Rob Simmons has been suspended for eight weeks after being found guilty of a "tip tackle" against France last weekend.

The Wallabies forward was reported to the International Rugby Board for a dangerous lifting tackle on flanker Yannick Nyanga in the second half of the 33-6 hammering at the Stade de France.

The citing was upheld by the IRB's Judicial Officer Robert Williams, who imposed an eight-week ban after decinding the offence was at the "high-end" of the sanctions scale.

Williams took into account Simmons' "exemplary previous disciplinary record and his conduct at the hearing", and the Aussie star will be eligible to return on 24 February.

An IRB statement read: "The specific period of suspension recognises the close season inactivity after the current tour when the player is not scheduled to play. The player has the right of appeal."

The ban leaves Australia with Nathan Sharpe and Sitaleki Timani as their only fit specialist second-row forwards ahead of this weekend's clash against England.

The Wallabies believed Wesley Fofana should have been cited for a dangerous tackle on winger Adam Ashley-Cooper in Paris, but the France centre escaped punishment.

Blindside flanker Dave Dennis is expected to replace Simmons at lock at Twickenham, while Scott Higginbotham could be called into the squad ahead of next weekend's trip to Italy.

Meanwhile, New Zealand flanker Adam Thomson has been handed a one-week suspension "stamping or trampling" on the head of Scotland's Alasdair Strokosch.

Thomson will be ineligible for this weekend's clash with Italy in Rome, but he will be available for the remaining Autumn fixtures against Wales and England.

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