Dragons centre avoids long ban after getting just two weeks for horror high shot
DRAGONS centre Sio Tomkinson could return for the Judgement Day finale against the Scarlets after avoiding a long ban for his horror high tackle against the Ospreys.
The 26-year-old was sent off in the 43rd minute of the United Rugby Championship derby defeat in Swansea after flying into fly-half Jack Walsh high and late.
Referee Jaco Peyper issued the red card and there were no complaints from Dragons boss Dai Flanagan after the game.
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“He came a long way to hit him. Sio is an aggressive player and thought he had made a read but he mistimed it completely,” said the head coach.
“You know when you come in a long way that you need to drop your height. He didn’t do that.”
It looked likely to be the end of the season for the high-profile signing from the Highlanders yet he has only been banned for three weeks, which will be reduced to two if he completes a World Rugby programme.
“In the player’s responses to the judicial officer overseeing the disciplinary process (Tommy Dalton (Ireland), he had accepted that he had committed an act of foul play which warranted a red card,” read a URC statement.
“Mr Dalton found that the incident met the red card threshold and the actions of the player were reckless and not deliberate.
“He determined the appropriate entry point to be mid-range warranting six weeks. The player received three weeks mitigation due to his good record, remorse and acceptance which results in a three-game suspension.
“Should the player complete the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme then the sanction will be reduced by one week.”
Tomkinson misses tomorrow’s European Challenge Cup tie at Glasgow and would be ruled out of the quarter-final if the Dragons cause a huge upset.
If they are knocked out then the centre will be suspended for the trip to Ulster on Friday, April 14 but he will return to face the Scarlets the following weekend at Principality Stadium.
That is a welcome boost for Flanagan, who is down to his last two specialist centres in Max Clark and Steff Hughes.