Saints prop Ma’afu to miss Ospreys clash after being hit with ban

BANNED - Salesi Ma'afu will miss Saints' trip to Ospreys on Sunday (picture: Sharon Lucey)

BANNED - Salesi Ma'afu will miss Saints' trip to Ospreys on Sunday (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Saints prop Salesi Ma’afu will miss Sunday’s Champions Cup game at Ospreys after being hit with a one-week ban.

Ma’afu was punished at an RFU disciplinary hearing on Wednesday night after totting up one foul play yellow card - for a high tackle on George Lowe in the win against Harlequins on December 27 - and two Level 1 citings.

The first citing was for striking an opponent in Saints’ win against Sale Sharks on October 11 and the second came last weekend, with Ma’afu having played Jonathan Mills without the ball in the defeat to Sale at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Ma’afu, who will be free to play again on January 20, did not have to attend the hearing at Coventry’s Holiday Inn as the club had submitted papers on his behalf.

The 31-year-old’s suspension is equal to the one Saracens wing Chris Ashton picked up after falling foul of the totting up process in October, 2012.

Ma’afu was suspended for one week last season for punching Tom Youngs’ in Saints’ Aviva Premiership play-off semi-final success against Leicester Tigers.

The Australian forward was dismissed in that fiery clash at Franklin’s Gardens and missed the Amlin Challenge Cup final win over Bath before returning to face Saracens in the Premiership final on the following weekend.