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Sale Sharks and England winger Denny Solomona has been banned for four weeks after he was found guilty of using homophobic slur during a Premiership game against Worcester Warriors.
Solomona appeared before an RFU disciplinary hearing on Wednesday evening, charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game, contrary to RFU Rule 5.12.
The former rugby league star contested the charge but was found guilty by the three-person independent panel. An initial six week ban was reduced to a four week suspension for “mitigating features”.
It rules the winger out until May 8th, which effectively ends Solomona’s domestic season, unless Sale can get themselves into a play-off spot – which seems highly unlikely at this stage.
Panel chair Samantha Hillas said:
“The panel found that the player used language that was verbally abusive on more than one occasion in quick succession.
“The comments were offensive and have no place on the rugby field. However, the Panel accepted that they were said in the heat of the moment rather than premeditated.
“For these reasons, the panel deemed it was a low end entry point which carries a six week suspension as a starting point. The player did not accept the charge but all other mitigating features were present. The panel therefore reduced the sanction to four weeks.”