Van Velze hit with four-week ban for tip tackle

STRONG CHALLENGE - GJ van Velze tackles Exeter's Will Chudley on Sunday (Picture: Linda Dawson)
STRONG CHALLENGE - GJ van Velze tackles Exeter's Will Chudley on Sunday (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Saints No.8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze has been banned for four weeks for a tip tackle on Exeter scrum-half Will Chudley during Sunday’s clash at Franklin’s Gardens.

Van Velze appeared before an RFU disciplinary hearing in Coventry, chaired by John Brennan, on Tuesday night and pleaded guilty to the offence.

The South African was given a yellow at the time of the incident after referee JP Doyle referred it to the TMO and then proceeded to watch the tackle on the big screen before making his decision.

But a report by independent citing officer Micky Ward landed van Velze, who also saw yellow in the opening-day win at Gloucester, in hot water with the RFU.

After the game, the player tweeted: “Sorry for the ill discipline today, I had no intention to hurt anyone, haven’t seen the replay yet but will have a look. #verydisappointed”

But the apology has not spared van Velze’s blushes and he will now miss four crucial games for Saints before returning to action on October 10.

The former Blue Bulls player will be unable to play any part in the Premiership games against Bath, Worcester, London Wasps and London Irish.