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Newcastle Falcons’ Craig Willis receives four-week suspension from RFU panel

The charge against Craig Willis of Newcastle Falcons for tip tackling, contrary to Law 10.4(j), was heard in Leeds this evening.
Willis pleaded not guilty, but was given a four-week suspension. He is free to play again on Tuesday 13 December.
The Newcastle back was sent off by referee Mike Adamson in the Anglo-Welsh Cup match between Newcastle and Saracens at the weekend for a tip tackle on Nick Tompkins of Saracens. The incident occurred in the second half of the match.

The RFU discipline panel, said: “The tackle started off legitimately, it being a technique he is specifically coached to carry out, however it did not end up as intended and having lifted the player off the ground the first point of contact between the Saracens player and the ground was the top of the shoulder. There was no injury caused.

“The panel followed the World Rugby memoranda for tackles of this nature and increased the low end entry point of 4 weeks by 1 week. A number of mitigating features enabled the panel to reduce the sanction by 1 week but not 2 as he did not accept the referees award of the red card.”
The panel comprised of Anthony Davies (chairman), John Downham and Dr Barry O’Driscoll.

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