Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi has received a five-week ban for punching Northampton wing Chris Ashton during last Saturday’s Aviva Premiership play-off clash at Welford Road.
The suspension rules England World Cup candidate Tuilagi out of Tigers’ Premiership final appointment with Saracens on May 28.
He will also miss England Saxons’ entire Churchill Cup campaign next month, which would have provided a shop window for him prior to England’s World Cup warm-up Tests in August.
The ban starts tomorrow and expires on June 23. Tuilagi admitted the charge.
Tuilagi, 20 today, appeared before a three-man Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel in central London after being cited for punching England star Ashton. Both players were sin-binned by referee Wayne Barnes.