Sale Sharks' Rob du Preez has been handed a three-week suspension.
The flyhalf was shown a red card by referee Adam Leal in the 23rd minute of the match Sale Sharks v Gloucester Rugby on Saturday 17 April 2021.
This was for a tip tackle, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.18.
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) April 20, 2021
Du Preez accepted the charge and was given a three-week suspension by the independent disciplinary panel comprising Ian Unsworth QC (chair) with Mitch Read and Tony Wheat.
In a letter to the Panel, du Preez stated:
Firstly, I'd like to take responsibility for my tackle and fully accept the charge against me.
I would also like to put in writing my sincerest apologies to Val and am truly thankful he did not suffer any injury as a result of my actions. The incident itself was entirely unintentional and I certainly did not intend to cause any harm to Val. I saw Val had stolen the ball at the breakdown and had a significant run up before I could get in a position to tackle him. I was also aware of his size and knew I would need to tackle him as hard as I could in order to attempt to bring him down.
As I engaged in the tackle I was genuinely surprised at how easily I was able to put force through him. Unfortunately, as I lifted his legs in the tackle I wasn't able to control the balance of the tackle and his legs went above the horizontal. I recognised I wouldn't be able to bring him down safely so I bailed out of the tackle in an attempt to not drive him into the ground.
I immediately apologised to Val following the incident and sought him out again after being shown the red on the pitch to issue a further apology.
He is free to play again on 18 May 2021.
Du Preez will miss the following Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures:
- 24 April - Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks
- 7 May - Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers
- 14/15/16 May - Bath Rugby v Sale Sharks