Rugby

Armitage handed 12-week ban

2014-12-18 07:50
Delon Armitage (AFP)

London - Two-time defending European champions Toulon suffered a blow on Wednesday as utility back Delon Armitage was banned for 12 weeks after being found guilty of misconduct following the stormy European Champions Cup defeat by Leicester.

The 31-year-old Englishman - whose team-mate Italian prop Martin Castrogiovannireceived a suspended four match ban and a fine for a post match rant - was found to have used offensive language towards spectators at Leicester's Welford Road ground.

The incidents came after Toulon's 25-21 defeat against the Tigers earlier this month.

The former England international pleaded not guilty to the charge, however, the independent disciplinary committee was satisfied he had directed abusive language to home fans after the match, albeit that he had been provoked.

Armitage, who has been pivotal to Toulon's success over the past couple of years, received an extra four weeks on the eight week ban because it was his second post-match misconduct case in four years.

The ban will see him miss the final two rounds of the European Champions Cup pool games and seven Top 14 matches.

An European Professional Club Rugby statement read: "Delon Armitage, the RC Toulon player, has been suspended for 12 weeks as a result of a misconduct complaint lodged against him by EPCR following his club's European Rugby Champions, Round 3 match against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on 7 December 2014.

The Toulon player will be suspended until March 8 next year, subject to appeals.

Aside from his suspended ban Castrogiovanni was also ordered to pay 10 000 to charity in Leicester following his post-match comments aimed at the Premiership club - whom he used to play for - and their rugby director Richard Cockerill.

His ban is suspended until April 30, 2016, and will be activated "in the event of any off-field misconduct complaint being successfully brought against him", EPCR said.

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