17 Oct 2011

Welsh captain suspended for three matches

7:08 am on 17 October 2011

The young Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton will likely miss Friday's third and fourth place playoff against Australia after being banned for three matches for his dangerous tackle that led to his early red card in Saturday night's semi-final against France.

The 23-year-old was sent off for his lifting tackle on Vincent Clerc in the opening quarter of the match, but while Wales coach Warren Gatland maintained a yellow card would have been punishment enough, the IRB Referees Manager Paddy O'Brien gave referee Alain Rolland his full backing.

Warburton, who admitted the offence, has 48 hours to appeal.