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Gloucester's Dave Attwood banned for nine weeks

Gloucester second row Dave Attwood
Attwood, 23, twice featured in England's autumn internationals

Gloucester second row Dave Attwood has been suspended for nine weeks for stamping on an opponent in an Amlin Challenge Cup tie against La Rochelle.

European Rugby Cup found the England player guilty of stamping on the head of Petrisor Toderasc in Gloucester's 24-18 loss at Kingsholm last month.

Attwood admitted the charge at a Dublin hearing and is out until 21 February.

The ban means the 23-year-old will miss the opening two matches of England's 2011 Six Nations campaign.

Attwood was named in England manager Martin Johnson's elite squad last summer, replacing former England captain Steve Borthwick.

Although he has yet to make his full international debut for England, Attwood twice appeared as a replacement during the Autumn internationals against New Zealand and Samoa last year.

Johnson is set to announce his revised 32-man squad ahead of the Six Nations on 12 January.

Romania international prop Toderasc needed hospital treatment after suffering mouth injuries following the incident.


La Rochelle president Vincent Merling said after the incident: "Some of his teeth are smashed. It's very serious."

Independent judicial officer, Robert Williams, took video footage, medical reports on Toderasc's injuries as well as Attwood's own testimony all into account.

The Welshman ruled Attwood's stamp was in the top-end range for the level of seriousness and ordered an 18-week ban.

But after considering Attwood's guilty plea and the player's "exemplary conduct", Williams halved the suspension to nine weeks.

Attwood's punishment has been backdated to 19 December, the day of the match, and also takes into account a two-week ban imposed by Gloucester after the game.

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