European Rugby Cup

Kolelishvili hit with 14-week ban for pushing referee

Clermont Auvergne flanker Viktor Kolelishvili has been hit with a 14-week ban for pushing referee Wayne Barnes in last weekend's 21-13 European Champions Cup loss to Ospreys.

The Georgia forward shoved Barnes, apparently feeling that the official was in his way as Ospreys prepared to play the ball in a ruck.

Barnes did not take action at the time, choosing instead to give him a stern talking-to, but Kolelishvili was yellow carded later in the match for an altercation with Alun Wyn Jones.

Kolelishvili was then cited for the shove on Barnes and faced the possibility of a 24-week ban - the low-end entry point for such an offence,

However, mitigating circumstances can be taken into account when a sanction is decided upon.

A statement from European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) read: "In upholding the citing complaint, the judicial officer found that Kolelishvili had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card.

"He determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 24 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

"He added two weeks due to the player's poor disciplinary record before reducing the sanction by half of the entry point taking into account Kolelishvili's immediate apology to the referee, his subsequent remorse, guilty plea and good conduct at the hearing.

"He then imposed a suspension of 14 weeks."

Both Kolelishvili and the EPCR are able to appeal the ban, but Clermont have already indicated they will not challenge the sanction on their player's behalf.

Meanwhile, Castres' Alexandre Bias, who was sent off against Newport Gwent Dragons, has been banned for a week, with his charge altered from a dangerous tackle to dangerous charging.