Attwood to miss Six Nations games

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The Independent Online

Dave Attwood, the recently-capped Gloucester lock who so impressed the England management on last summer's tour of Australia, will miss the first two rounds of the forthcoming Six Nations Championship after picking up a nine-week ban for stamping during his club's Amlin Challenge Cup defeat by La Rochelle last month – an offence that left the French club's prop, Petrisor Toderasc, needing hospital treatment for injuries to his eye and mouth.

Attwood admitted the charge, but denied any intention to connect with Toderasc's face. The judicial officer, Roger Williams, accepted this, but decided the offence was still in the "top-end range" and imposed an 18-week suspension. This was cut by 50 per cent because of Attwood's previous good record, "clear remorse" and "exemplary conduct" at the hearing.

The Cardiff Blues and Wales scrum-half Richie Rees has been ruled out of the Six Nations after being found guilty of making contact with the eye of Northampton hooker Dyaln Hartley during their Heineken Cup match on 19 December. Rees, who pleaded not guilty, was banned for 12 weeks at a disciplinary hearing yesterday.