15 Jun 2011

Flankers suspension reduced on appeal

6:03 am on 15 June 2011

The Lions Super Rugby flanker Michael Rhodes has had his six-week suspension for a dangerous tackle reduced by one week on appeal.

Southern hemisphere rugby body SANZAR said a three-man appeal committee ruled that the suspension should be cut to five weeks, allowing Rhodes to return for the Johannesburg-based Lions after July the 24th.

The 23-year-old Rhodes was initially banned until the end of July after a dangerous, wrestling tackle on Highlanders winger Siale Piutau in a Super Rugby game late last month.

Rhodes accepted the neck-high tackle at a ruck was dangerous, but argued his suspension was too long.

With the Lions' Super 15 season over, the loose forward will be eligible in week three of South Africa's Currie Cup.