Kolelishvili hit with 14-week ban for pushing referee


Clermont Auvergne flanker Viktor Kolelishvili has been hit with a 14-week ban for pushing referee Wayne Barnes in last weekend's 21-13 European Champions Cup loss to Ospreys.

The Georgia forward shoved Barnes, apparently feeling that the official was in his way as Ospreys prepared to play the ball in a ruck.

Barnes did not take action for the incident at the time choosing instead to give him a stern talking-to, but he was yellow carded later in the match for an altercation with Alun Wyn Jones.

Kolelishvili was cited for the shove on Barnes, though, and faced the possibility of a 24-week ban - the low-end entry point for such an offence,

However, the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) can offer a lower punishment for mitigating circumstances and a statement from the government body read: "In upholding the citing complaint, the Judicial Officer found that Kolelishvili had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card.

"He determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 24 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

"He added two weeks due to the player's poor disciplinary record before reducing the sanction by half of the entry point taking into account Kolelishvili's immediate apology to the referee, his subsequent remorse, guilty plea and good conduct at the hearing.

"He then imposed a suspension of 14 weeks."

Both Clermont and the EPCR are able to appeal the ban, but the club have already indicated they will not challenge the sanction.