Wales back row forward Gareth Delve has been banned for three weeks after being found guilty of striking an opponent.
The 26-year-old Gloucester captain was cited following an altercation with George Stowers during last weekend’s Guinness Premiership defeat to London Irish at the Madejski Stadium.
Delve will now not be available for his club until October 12, meaning he will miss the Premiership games against Saracens and Leeds Carnegie the Heineken Cup pool match at home to Newport Gwent Dragons.
The suspension is bitterly disappointing for the former Bath player who had been hoping to press his claims for inclusion in Warren Gatland’s matchday squads for the autumn internationals.
Delve will now only have the games against Biarritz, London Wasps and Sale Sharks to force his way into Gatland’s team for the clash with New Zealand in first of those four November Tests.