Nathan Hughes suspended for two weeks

Nathan Hughes has been suspended for two weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club's Champions Cup, Round 2 match against Harlequins at the Ricoh Arena.

Hughes was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Murray Whyte (Ireland), for striking the Harlequins fly half, Marcus Smith (No 10), in the 29th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (a).

Law 10.4 (a) Striking with a hand, arm or fist
Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (a), striking with a hand, arm or fist, carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 4 weeks; Top end: 8 to 52 weeks.

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Roger Morris (Wales), Chairman, Andrea Caranci (Italy) and Antony Davies (England), heard evidence and submissions from Hughes, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, from the player's legal representative, Andrew Hunter QC and from Wasps Head of Recruitment, Kevin Harman. Evidence and submissions were also heard from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the citing complaint and determined that the strike to the neck warranted a red card. The Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.

There were no aggravating factors, however, as the player did not plead guilty, the Committee was not able to reduce the sanction by the maximum allowable of 50 per cent, and a suspension of two weeks was imposed.

Hughes is free to play on Monday, 6 November and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.