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Rugby - Sharks centre Ward suspended for five weeks

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DURBAN (Reuters) – Sharks centre Jeremy Ward has been suspended for five weeks after pleading guilty to a dangerous tackle on Bulls wing Rosko Specman in Saturday’s 37-14 Super Rugby loss at Loftus Versfeld.

Ward was adjudged to have lifted Specman off the ground and dropped him in a dangerous manner, a tackle that went unpunished during the game but for which the 23-year-old was later cited.

World Rugby regulations suggest the tackle should lead to a minimum suspension of 10 weeks, but the SANZAAR foul play review committee said there were mitigating factors.

“Taking into account the player’s age, relative inexperience, remorse, and the fact that he has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the foul play review committee reduced the suspension to five weeks,” SANZAAR said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ward will be missing for six matches, up to and including the home clash with the Queensland Reds on April 19.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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