Russell out of Italy match as appeal is thrown out

Finn Russell clashes with Dan Biggar at BT Murrayfield
Finn Russell clashes with Dan Biggar at BT Murrayfield
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FINN RUSSELL will miss Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy on Saturday after his appeal against a two-week ban was thrown out by tournament bosses.

A Six Nations appeal committee rejected Scotland’s challenge over Russell’s ban for tackling Dan Biggar in the air in the 26-23 defeat to Wales on February 15.

The appeal committee upheld the original decision to suspend Russell for two weeks, despite considering submissions from the 22-year-old fly-half at a London hearing yesterday.

Russell will now miss this weekend’s BT Murrayfield clash with the Italians, but will be free to return to face England at Twickenham on March 14.

“The Appeal Committee, having considered submissions on behalf of the player and on behalf of the Six Nations disciplinary officer, dismissed the appeal with the result that the original sanction of a two-week suspension stands, with Finn Russell able to return to play on March 2, 2015,” read a Six Nations statement. Russell had his initial three-week ban cut to two weeks in the first hearing on his case, with disciplinary bosses reflecting on his clean record. The Glasgow playmaker avoided a lengthy ban as Six Nations chiefs ruled his challenge “reckless rather than deliberate”.