Armitage gets ban for abusive language reduced

File photo of Delon Armitage. The full-back has been accused of being a 'habitual offender'

Toulon full-back Delon Armitage has had his 12-week ban for using abusive language reduced to eight on appeal.

Armitage was found to have directed a foul-mouthed tirade at Leicester supporters after Toulon’s 25-21 Champions Cup defeat at Welford Road on December 7.

A European Club Rugby statement last night read: “An independent Appeal Committee has today upheld an appeal by Delon Armitage against the 12-week suspension imposed on him for misconduct... Armitage will be free to play on 9 February 2015.”

After the reigning European champions had lost to Leicester, Armitage made a number of comments within earshot of spectators — including children — using foul and abusive language. In a damning verdict released by the hearing that imposed the 12-week suspension, the former England international was found to be ”an habitual offender” with ”an appalling disciplinary record”.

Armitage was banned for eight weeks in 2011 after a misconduct complaint for using threatening and/or abusive language towards an anti-doping official was upheld and he has also been suspended on three separate occasions for incidents of foul play on the pitch.

Meanwhile England captain Chris Robshaw will make his return from injury when Harlequins host Premiership opponents Leicester today. The Quins flanker has been sidelined since with a shoulder injury for five weeks. His comeback comes less than a month before England launch their RBS 6 Nations campaign by tackling Wales in Cardiff.

Robshaw features in Quins’ starting line-up this weekend, packing down alongside back-row colleagues Jack Clifford and Nick Easter. Easter will become the Aviva Premiership’s oldest-ever No.8 during the course of his new two-year contract at Harlequins.

The 36-year-old is the league’s 49th oldest player of all time, and will rack up his 250th appearance for Harlequins against Leicester today. Easter will surpass Chris Sheasby’s record as the league’s oldest number eight at 37 years and 160 days over the course of his new deal.


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