Saracens hooker Schalk Brits hit by three-week suspension

Schalk Brits
South African Brits was making his eighth appearance of the season against Treviso

Saracens hooker Schalk Brits has been banned from playing until 8 December after pleading guilty to a dangerous tackle.

A European Rugby Cup hearing upheld a citing against the South African for a challenge on Treviso wing Benjamin De Jager in Sunday's Heineken Cup clash.

Brits was deemed to be in breach of law 10.4, the so-called "spear" tackle.

The 30-year-old will miss three games and be free to return for the 10 December visit of Ospreys at Wembley.

Independent judicial officer Rod McKenzie decided the challenge should be considered a "mid-range" offence, which usually carries a six-week suspension.

But, taking into consideration the players' "guilty plea, clean record and clear remorse", McKenzie reduced the ban to three weeks.

Brits will be unavailable for Sunday's Heineken Cup encounter with Biarritz, as well as Premiership fixtures against Northampton Saints and London Irish.

Saracens can turn to new recruit John Smit and young Englishman Jamie George as cover in Brits' absence.