(Reuters) – France lock Paul Gabrillagues is likely to miss the Rugby World Cup after he was handed a six-week suspension for foul play in their warm-up match against Scotland last weekend.
World Rugby found Gabrillagues guilty of a head-first challenge on Scotland’s John Barclay during their 32-3 win over the visitors in Nice on Saturday and the Frenchman accepted that it was a dangerous foul worthy of a red card.
France name their World Cup squad on Sept. 2 and Gabrillagues is likely to miss out as the ban rules him out of contention until Oct. 6. The 26-year-old would miss France’s first three matches against Argentina, the U.S. and Tonga.
“The disciplinary committee, having considered the evidence and the submissions, deemed that the foul play was intentional,” World Rugby said in a statement after the committee reviewed footage of the incident.
“The offence took place at considerable pace and with considerable force to the opposition’s head such that the player sustained an injury.
“The committee determined that the act merited a top-end entry point which according to World Rugby’s Sanctions Table carries a minimum 10-week suspension.”
The 10-week suspension was reduced by 40% as Gabrillagues admitted his guilt and issued an apology, with World rugby noting his “expression of remorse to his opponent and his good conduct at the hearing”.
Gabrillagues has 48 hours to appeal the decision. France begin their World Cup Pool C campaign against Argentina on Sept. 21.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)