One-week ban for Edinburgh centre Phil Burleigh

Edinburgh's Phil Burleigh sits it out after being sent off against Stade Francais. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Edinburgh's Phil Burleigh sits it out after being sent off against Stade Francais. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
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Edinburgh centre Phil Burleigh has been given a one-week ban following his red card against Stade Francais at the weekend.

The 27-year-old New Zealander was sent off by English referee Craig Maxwell-Keys in the 55th minute of the European Challenge Cup clash at BT Murrayfield, which Edinburgh won 28-23, for “striking” the lock Pascal Pape. In an earlier ruling the Frenchman was issued with an official warning for going to ground in an “exaggerated manner” after being struck by Burleigh.

It means Burleigh, who was making his 50th appearance for Edinburgh on Saturday, will be free to play in the 1872 Cup match against Glasgow on Boxing Day after missing tomorrow’s return match with Stade Francais in Paris.

Today’s hearing heard evidence and submissions from Burleigh, who pleaded guilty to the offence, Edinburgh managing director Jonny Petrie, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer, Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the red card decision, the Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.

Taking into account Burleigh’s clean disciplinary record, his guilty plea and expression of remorse, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by the maximum of 50 per cent before imposing a one-week suspension. He is free to play from Monday 19 December.

Pape was deemed to have acted “contrary to good sportsmanship” and the warning was issued by the match Citing Commissioner, Eddie Wigglesworth.

Edinburgh acting head coach Duncan Hodge, meanwhile, has made eight changes to his starting side to face Stade Francais tomorrow at Stade Jean Bouin (kick-off 7.45pm GMT).

In the front-row Simon Berghan and Ross Ford – who will captain the side – are promoted from the bench to start, while Fraser McKenzie is named in the pack in place of Grant Gilchrist.

Nasi Manu is at No 8, with Cornell Du Preez returning on the blindside flank.

Tom Brown returns from a groin injury to start on the wing in the only change to the back-three, with Chris Dean coming in at inside centre and Jason Tovey given the nod at stand-off and Duncan Weir starting on the bench.

EDINBURGH TEAM

15. Blair Kinghorn

14. Damien Hoyland

13. Michael Allen

12. Chris Dean

11. Tom Brown

10. Jason Tovey

9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne

1. Alasdair Dickinson

2. Ross Ford (capt)

3. Simon Berghan

4. Fraser McKenzie

5. Ben Toolis

6. Cornell Du Preez

7. Hamish Watson

8. Nasi Manu

Subs

16. Neil Cochrane

17. Allan Dell

18. Murray McCallum

19. Lewis Carmichael

20. Viliame Mata

21. Sean Kennedy

22. Duncan Weir

23. Glenn Bryce