Simmons handed eight-week ban

PA Sport
Rob Simmons has been handed an eight-game suspension
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Rob Simmons has been handed an eight-game suspension

Australia forward Rob Simmons has received an eight-week ban after being cited for a dangerous tackle during last Saturday's Test against France in Paris.

The Six Nations, who oversee disciplinary issues during the autumn Tests, announced Simmons' suspension following a disciplinary hearing before independent International Rugby Board judicial officer Robert Williams in London on Wednesday.

Simmons went on as a substitute in the French game - Australia lost 33-6 - and was subsequently reported for a "tip" tackle on Les Bleus forward Yannick Nyanga.

Williams decided that Simmons' offence was at the high end of the IRB's sanctions scale and suspended him until February 24.

The ban recognises a period of close-season inactivity after Australia's current European tour, which ends against Wales in Cardiff on December 1. Simmons will also miss this weekend's clash against England and an appointment with Italy on November 24.

Williams heard representations from Simmons, his coach, team manager and legal representative.

A statement released by the Six Nations read: "From the high end entry point of 12 weeks, the judicial officer added two weeks of aggravation to reflect the need for a deterrent for this type of dangerous tackle, but allowed the maximum six weeks of mitigation, including the player's exemplary previous disciplinary record and his conduct at the hearing.

"A sanction of eight weeks was duly imposed, with Rob Simmons suspended until midnight on 24 February 2013.

"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."

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