Rugby - O'Driscoll banned for three weeks, out of Wasps clash

Brian O'Driscoll has been banned for three weeks for stamping on Italy's Simone Favaro during last weekend's Six Nations game.

PA Sport
Rugby - O'Driscoll banned for three weeks, out of Wasps clash
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Ireland’s centre Brian O'Driscoll reacts after the Six Nations International Rugby Union match between Italy and Ireland at the Olympic Stadium in Rome (AFP)

The decision rules him out of Leinster's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Wasps in April and two games in the Rabodirect Pro12 league.

The centre was cited following the incident in Ireland's 22-15 defeat in Rome on Saturday and could have faced a ban of nine weeks. As it is, he is suspended until April 8.

O'Driscoll, 34, was sent to the sin-bin for only the second time in his 14-year professional career in the first half of the match at the Stadio Olimpico.

The act was out of character for O'Driscoll, who has a fine disciplinary record, and was evidence of his frustration as Ireland slumped to a first Six Nations defeat by Italy.

However, he was lucky to have escaped a red card for an incident that clouded what is thought to have been his 125th and final Test in a green shirt.

At Wednesday's hearing in front of an independent Six Nations Disciplinary Committee, the player admitted an act of foul play - but argued that it did not warrant a red card.

"After hearing from Brian O'Driscoll and his representatives, [the committee] allowed a reduction of two weeks of mitigation, particularly taking into account the player's exemplary previous playing and disciplinary record," a statement from the Six Nations said.

O'Driscoll has the right to appeal.

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