Six Nations 2014: Wales lock Evans' ban disappoints Bennett

Wales lock Ian Evans' lengthy ban for stamping, which rules him out of the 2014 Six Nations, disappoints former hooker Huw Bennett.

Evans will miss Wales' Six Nations defence after being banned for 12 weeks for stamping.

Evans, 29, was dismissed by referee Romain Poite during Ospreys' 36-3 Heineken Cup defeat by Leinster.

"I was a bit disappointed and if I was Ian I would be gutted," said Bennett, a former Wales and Ospreys teammate.

"He was going to have a ban, but 12 weeks is quite lengthy.

"Just watching the game when it happened, he made no eye contract and wasn't looking where he was stamping at all."

Evans was dismissed after stamping on Leinster's Mike McCarthy.

Evans's incident with McCarthy involved at least two stamps which connected with the Irish lock's head and resulted in a serious facial wound.

"If I put myself in Mike McCarthy's shoes I would have expected to have had a little bit of treatment," said Bennett."

"He would have been disappointed he got one on the head, and angry with that, but he would have seen in the video footage he would have seen Ian Evans didn't look and do it purpose."

"There was no malice there and it wasn't done on purpose and that is why I was surprised it was a lengthy ban of 12 weeks.

"Knowing Ian personally, I am gutted for him because it has a massive knock on effect putting him out of the Six Nations."

The British and Irish Lions player pleaded guilty before a disciplinary hearing in Dublin on Thursday.

Entry-level suspensions for stamping range from two to nine-plus weeks, with 52 weeks the maximum.

It is another blow for Wales coach Warren Gatland, who is already without injured forward Ryan Jones and may not have captain Sam Warburton fit for their opening match against Italy on 1 February.

Evans, who will not be available to play until 21 April, was one of five players Wales coach Gatland named in his Six Nations squad who can play at lock.

With Evans's ban and Jones's injury, their Ospreys team-mate Alun Wyn Jones and Perpignan's Luke Charteris are the front-line Wales locks, with Newport Gwent Dragons' Andrew Coombs providing potential cover.

Evans, who has won 32 Wales caps, will join French club Toulon at the end of the 2013-14 season when his contract with Ospreys ends.