All Blacks lock Whitelock banned for two weeks

Sam Whitelock has been banned for two weeks after being found guilty of striking Cheetahs front row Charles Marais with his arm.

Crusaders lock Whitelock clashed with Marais as he fell to the ground after gathering a restart in the teams’ Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

SANZAAR, the competition’s governing body, held a Judicial Committee Hearing on Monday, which found the All Black had committed a mid-range offence.

Whitelock’s exemplary disciplinary record prior to Saturday ensured that a four-week suspension was reduced to a fortnight. He will be available for selection from May 14.

“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Judicial Committee upheld the citing under Law 10.4(a) Striking another Player with the hand, arm or fist,” a SANZAAR statement read.

“With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid range entry point of 4 weeks due to the World Rugby stipulation that a strike to the head shall result in at least a mid range entry point sanction.

“However, taking into account mitigating factors including the fact that the player had an excellent disciplinary record including 110 Super Rugby games for the Crusaders and 84 Test caps for the All Blacks, the Judicial Committee reduced the otherwise applicable sanction from four weeks to two weeks.”