Wales prop Samson Lee banned 5 games for head-butt
Wales prop Lee banned 5 games for head-butting Van der Merwe in loss to Springboks
Associated Press
2014-06-25 11:42 PM

NELSPRUIT, South Africa (AP) -- Wales prop Samson Lee will sit out the first three games of the Scarlets' Pro12 rugby campaign next season as well as two preseason friendlies after he was handed a five-week ban for head-butting South Africa's Flip van der Merwe during Saturday's second test.

The incident occurred in the leadup to Wales' 45th-minute try, when both players were on the ground during a maul. Van der Merwe had to receive treatment for a blood injury below his left eye.

Lee was cited after the match and although the 21-year-old prop was initially handed a 10-week ban, IRB judicial officer Christopher Quinlan reduced the sentence on account of Lee's admission of guilt, his age, and relatively clean history.

In his testimony during the hearing, Lee claimed the head-butt was a reaction to being held on the ground by Van der Merwe, and was not premeditated.

Lee replaced Adam Jones in the Wales lineup to win his first test start, and impressed even as the tourists lost 31-30 to concede the series 2-0.

As it was Lee's final match of the season, his suspension will begin with the preseason friendlies against Bath and Gloucester in August.

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