Paolo Odogwu: Wasps wing gets six-week ban for kicking opponent

Paolo Odogwu shows his dissatisfaction with Tom Foley's red card
Paolo Odogwu was sent-off following the incident with Rohan van Rensburg

Wasps wing Paolo Odogwu has been banned for six weeks after he pleaded guilty to kicking Sale centre Rohan van Rensburg in the face during last week's 28-18 Premiership defeat.

The 22-year-old was dismissed for the incident in the 79th minute of the match by referee Tom Foley.

Odogwu's claim he used his outstretched leg to "assist his balance" was rejected by the independent panel.

However, they did agree the contact with the face was unintentional.

"He did intend to use his outstretched leg to fend off a potential oncoming player and was reckless as to whether or not it made contact or caused injury." independent panel chair Dan White said.

"In this case the dangerous action of the player resulted in a minor injury to the Sale player.

"In our opinion this was nevertheless a top end entry point; his disrespectful behaviour to the referee and crowd, after receiving the red card, only served to reinforce our view. His behaviour reflected poorly on the player and the game as a whole."

The former Sharks three-quarter, whose penalty was halved for prior record and positive post-incident behaviour, will be free to play again from Tuesday, 23 December.

Meanwhile, Bath wing Aled Brew was banned for three weeks after he accepted a striking charge following the 22-13 win over Northampton Saints last weekend.

Aled Brew is dismissed by Ian Tempest
Aled Brew was sent-off for his infringement in the win over Northampton

Brew was also sent-off, for striking Saints full-back George Furbank, by referee Ian Tempest in the second-half of the game.

"The panel did not accept that this was a reckless action by the player. It was a deliberate action that was completely avoidable; albeit committed in the heat of the moment," chair White added.

"No injury was caused to the opposition player who passed the Head Injury Assessment and returned to the field."

Although the starting point in the Rugby Football Union's sanctions for a striking charge is six weeks, his previous behaviour and contrition after the event also led to a 50% reduction in the punishment.

He can return to action on Tuesday, 3 December.

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