Newcastle wing Mateo Carreras been given a nine-week ban for making intentional contact with the eye of Wasps back Josh Bassett.
Carreras accepted the charge for an incident during Wasps’ 20-18 win over Newcastle in the English Premiership last Friday.
An independent disciplinary hearing has now ruled that the 21-year-old Argentine will be free to play again on June 15, subject to Newcastle’s progress in the European Challenge Cup.
Attacks on the eyes are considered to be one of the most serious offences in rugby union.
Carreras’ action was deemed to warrant a mid-range punishment, carrying a sanction of 18 weeks but this was halved on mitigation grounds given his previously clean disciplinary record and the fact he admitted the offence.
“The player’s evidence was that he had intended to ‘irritate’ the Wasps player but that he had not intended to cause any harm in his action,” the disciplinary panel said in a statement issued Thursday by England’s governing Rugby Football Union.
“He accepted, on reflection, that by making contact with the eye of Josh Bassett he risked causing serious injury, though this was a momentary action without thought for the consequences.”—AP