Wales prop Tomas Francis hit with eight-week ban

Wales prop Tomas Francis has received an eight-week ban for making contact with the “eye or eye area” of England forward Dan Cole in last Saturday’s Six Nations game at Twickenham.

Wales prop Tomas Francis hit with eight-week ban

Francis, 23, appeared before an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee in London yesterday.

His suspension means he cannot play again until May 9, ruling him out of Wales’ Six Nations clash against Italy on Saturday — he had been named among the replacements — and the rest of his club Exeter’s season.

A statement released on behalf of the Six Nations read: “The disciplinary committee, chaired by Pat Barriscale (Ireland) along with Jean-Philippe Lachaume (France) and George Spotswood (Ireland), having considered all of the evidence, including TV footage, and listened to representations by, and on behalf, of Mr Francis, found that he had recklessly made contact with the eye or eye area of an opponent, which had been worthy of a red card.”

Francis came into the game in the second half at Twickenham as Wales looked to recover from a 16-0 interval deficit.

Following the incident, though, match referee Craig Joubert took no action against the player in terms of a yellow or red card after reviewing it on big screen replays inside the stadium.

Meanwhile England prop Joe Marler must wait to discover if his verbal abuse of Wales’ Samson Lee is to result in any punishment from disciplinary chiefs.

Marler called Lee “gypsy boy”, though he apologised at half-time. Six Nations organisers announced there will be no verdict on that incident after Marler’s citing for striking during the same game is heard this afternoon.

Wales team (v italy):

L Williams (Scarlets); G North (Northampton), J Davies (Clermont Auvergne), J Roberts (Harlequins), H Amos (Dragons); D Biggar (Ospreys), R Webb (Ospreys); R Evans (Scarlets), S Baldwin (Ospreys), S Lee (Scarlets), B Davies (Wasps), L Charteris (Racing 92), D Lydiate (Ospreys, capt), J Tipuric (Ospreys), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements:

K Owens (Scarlets), G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), T Francis (Exeter) A Jarvis (Ospreys), J Ball (Scarlets), R Moriarty (Gloucester), G Davies (Scarlets), R Priestland (Bath), G Anscombe (Cardiff Blues).

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