Ian Gough given three-week suspension
Ospreys lock Ian Gough has been banned for three weeks at a hearing for a dangerous tackle on hooker Schalk Brits in their Heineken Cup loss to Saracens.
The 35-year-old will miss Ospreys' Pro 12 festive Welsh derbies and adds to their lock crisis as Ian Evans, Alun Wyn Jones and James Goode are out.
Gough will be available on 9 January as Ryan Jones, Jonathan Thomas and James King could fill the second row void.
Gough and European Rugby Cup have the right to appeal the decision.
Independent judicial officer Jeremy Summers heard evidence and submissions from Gough, Ospreys chief operating officer Andrew Hore, their team manager Andy Lloyd and ERC disciplinary officer Roger O'Connor at a disciplinary Hearing in Dublin.
Citing Commissioner Peter Brown charged former Wales international Gough contrary to Law 10.4 (j) "lifting a player from the ground and either dropping or driving that player's head and/or upper body into the ground whilst the player's feet are off the ground."
An ERC statement read: "The judicial officer decided that the offence was at the low-end entry point of three weeks.
"In consideration of aggravating factors and in reference to the IRB's directive on this pattern of offending, he added one one week to the period.
"Then having taken into account the player's excellent record and exemplary conduct during the hearing, he decided on a reduction of one week before imposing a suspension of three three weeks."