French scrum-half Julien Dupuy will miss the Six Nations tournament after being handed a 24 week ban for eye gouging.
The Stade Francais star committed the offence on Ulster’s Stephen Ferris during last week’s 23-13 defeat by Ulster at Ravenhill.
Prop David Attoub –also cited for gouging in the same game - was handed an interim suspension pending the outcome of reconvened hearing in January.
Dupuy’s offence was described by an ERC statement as being “at the top end in the level of seriousness for an offence of this type".
Dupuy – who along with Attoub apologised this week - is the current French No.1 scrum half but will now miss their Six Nations campaign.
In Attoub’s case the Disciplinary Officer ruled that further evidence needed to be considered before a ruling was made.