Marshall Sykes red card ban halved, but Edinburgh forward faces Glasgow 1872 Cup wait

Edinburgh forward Marshall Sykes has been suspended following his red card in last week's win over Zebre Parma.

The second-row has been handed an initial three-game ban which will keep him out of rugby action until the middle of next month. How much he misses is dependent on Edinburgh’s progress in the EPCR.

He is certain to sit out Saturday's United Rugby Championship game against Ulster and next weekend's Challenge Cup quarter-final with Wasps.

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The 22-year-old will also miss the following match for Edinburgh – which could be the EPCR semi-final, if they qualify, or the 1872 Cup meeting with Glasgow on May 22. The match at Murrayfield in the URC was rescheduled from earlier this year due to COVID restrictions.

Sykes was sent off early in the second half of the 29-26 win over Zebre when his shoulder made contact with the head of the Italian side's prop Danilo Fischetti in a ruck clear-out. The incident contravened rugby law 9.20b which states ‘a player must not make contact with an opponent above the line of the shoulders.’

The mid-range foul carried a potential six-week suspension but, as Sykes accepted the red card and has had a previously good disciplinary record, the ban length was halved in mitigation.

While Sykes will miss Saturday’s meeting with Ulster, Edinburgh coach Mike Blair will welcome seven internationalists back to the fold with Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Hodgson, Magnus Bradbury, Ben Vellacott, James Lang and Emiliano Boffelli all set to return to the starting XV at the DAM Health Stadium.

Marshall Sykes in action for Edinburgh during a Challenge Cup match between Edinburgh and CA Brive at the DAM Health Stadium earlier this year. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

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