Bryce Heem: Worcester Warriors winger given two-match ban for aerial tackle

Bryce Heem's challenge produced an angry response from the Wasps players at the Ricoh Arena
Bryce Heem's challenge produced an angry response from the Wasps players at the Ricoh Arena

Worcester winger Bryce Heem has been banned for two matches following his aerial tackle on Wasps' South Africa international Willie Le Roux.

The 28-year-old Kiwi was sent off for the 46th-minute challenge in Sunday's 40-33 loss at the Ricoh Arena.

But having pleaded guilty, Heem was given a delayed two-week suspension which frees him to return on 18 April.

He will miss Worcester's next two games, at Sale on 7 April and at home to Bath on 15 April.

A Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel in Bristol stated that "the actions of Heem were reckless and in part affected by the running line of Wasps number 13 [Alapati Leiua]

"Notwithstanding this, the player accepted his actions merited the award of a red card and the panel, having heard direct evidence from Wasps' Willie Le Roux, found this was a low-end entry point."

Two bonus points from the game took Warriors nine clear of bottom club Bristol, giving Gary Gold's side a lift in their bid to avoid relegation.

Willie Le Roux had to receive treatment at the Ricoh Arena following his collision with Bryce Heem
Willie Le Roux had to receive treatment at the Ricoh Arena following his collision with Bryce Heem

Will Le Roux be fit for Leinster game?

Winger Le Roux suffered a suspected concussion following the challenge - and both he and centre Alapati Leiua must now be cleared to play before they are considered for selection for Saturday's European Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster in Dublin.

"Obviously Willie Le Roux is going through the standard return-to-play protocol," said director of rugby Dai Young. "But Alapati picked up a knock in the last couple of minutes as well. So he's got to go through the protocol as well.

"Both of them are fine, both are two days into the protocol and looking pretty good, but it's a five or six-day standard protocol so it's going to go right until the wire. We're not really going to know properly if they're fit probably until Friday. But it's looking pretty positive."

England flanker James Haskell has a dead leg and a back spasm, but Young expects his recovery to be more straightforward.

"James is still going through some rehab at the minute," he added. "He's limping about out there but he's pretty confident that he'll be OK."

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