Grant Gilchrist has been ruled out of the rest of Scotland’s Six Nations campaign after being given a three-match ban for the red card he received in the team’s last game against France.

The Edinburgh lock, dismissed after his shoulder made contact with the head of French flanker Anthony Jelonch, will sit out Sunday’s game against Ireland and the match against Italy six days later. The third match is Edinburgh’s URC match at Connacht at the end of the month, but he will be able to play in that provided he first takes part in World Rugby’s “coaching intervention programme” designed to teach better tackling technique.

Jonny Gray, who came on as an indirect replacement for Gilchrist in the French game, is now likely to start against the Irish alongside his older brother Richie. Gilchrist’s Edinburgh team-mate Sam Skinner is set to provide back-up from the bench, although head coach Gregor Townsend could also call on Glasgow’s Scott Cummings.

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A statement from Six Nations Rugby yesterday explained that offences such as Gilchrist’s were originally seen as meriting a six-match ban, but in his case that was halved because he pleaded guilty and expressed remorse.

“The committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head,” the statement said. “This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.

“Having acknowledged that there were no aggravating factors and accepted mitigating factors including the player’s early acknowledgement that the incident warranted a red card [and] the lack of intent and premeditation and clearly expressed remorse, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks...

“The player applied to take part in the coaching intervention programme to substitute the final match of his sanction for a coaching intervention, which was granted by the committee. The programme is aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play.”

France prop Mohamed Haouas, who was sent off minutes after Gilchrist for making head-on-head contact with scrum-half Ben White in Scotland’s 31-21 defeat, was given a four-week ban last week.


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