Ben Youngs suspended by club side Leicester

 

Leicester last night suspended scrum-half Ben Youngs for a week shortly after the England international was cited for allegedly striking an opponent.

Youngs, 22, will face a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing next week after being accused of striking London Irish number eight Jamie Gibson during the Tigers' 41-32 Aviva Premiership victory at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.

During the incident Youngs appeared to drop his knee onto the forward before punching him, and RFU citing officer Wade Dooley decided he had a case to answer.

The RFU released a statement confirming the citing which read: "Ben Youngs of Leicester Tigers will appear before an RFU Disciplinary Panel after being cited for striking London Irish's Jamie Gibson contrary to Law 10(4)(a) during the Aviva Premiership match at the Madejski Stadium on March 25, following a report by the match citing officer Wade Dooley."

The Tigers soon provided their own statement confirming that they had suspended Youngs, a try scorer in England's Six Nations win over Ireland, for one week after an internal disciplinary hearing had found him guilty of striking Gibson.

It said: "Ben has been banned for one week and will not be available for selection for Friday's home game against Worcester Warriors. This is obviously a disappointment to Ben after just returning to the club from international duty."

Law 10 (4)(a) covers striking with both the knee and a hand, arm or fist. The minimum suspension Youngs could receive if found guilty by the RFU would be the low-end entry point of two weeks, while the top-end entry point is a ban of 12-plus weeks.

Any suspension would harm Leicester's bid to reach an eighth straight Premiership final as the domestic season enters its closing stages, while a lengthy ban would put Youngs' availability for England's summer tour to South Africa in doubt.

Harlequins back-rower Maurie Fa'asavalu will join Youngs in attending a hearing next week after he was cited for an alleged dangerous tackle on Bath fly-half Tom Heathcote.

The low-end entry point for a dangerous tackle is a two-week suspension, with a suspension of 10 weeks or more for offences deemed to be at the high end of the scale, meaning Fa'asavalu faces being ruled out of at least part of league leaders' Quins' tilt at the Premiership title if found guilty.

PA

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