Fagerson ban upheld but he could play last Six Nations game

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - Scotland vs Samoa - Murrayfield Stadium , Edinburgh, Britain - November 11, 2017 Scotland’s Zander Fagerson celebrates at the end of the match Reuters/Russell Cheyne

LONDON (Reuters) - Scotland prop Zander Fagerson's four-match suspension has been upheld but he could play in their final Six Nations game following a change in the matches he is banned for.

The Six Nations appeals committee has now included club games in the ban on 25-year-old Fagerson who was suspended for four internationals after being sent off in Scotland’s match against Wales at Murrayfield on Feb. 13.

His appeal against the sending-off and length of suspension was rejected, Six Nations organisers said on Thursday, but the committee agreed with Fagerson’s argument that the two matches of his club Glasgow Warriors played on the weekends without any Six Nations games should count towards his ban.

Fagerson has therefore served one game of his suspension already -- Glasgow’s loss to Ulster in the PRO14 -- and must sit out his club's match at Zebre in Italy on March 6, as well as Scotland's Six Nations clashes with France and Ireland.

In theory, that clears him to return for the Six Nations game against Italy on March 20, although Scotland's schedule has been thrown into doubt by the postponement of Sunday’s clash with France whose squad has been affected by the coronavirus.

"Necessarily, decisions on matches to be covered by suspensions are fact-sensitive and player-specific. The Appeal Committee was satisfied that the suspension should have covered the Glasgow matches against Ulster and Zebre,” organisers said in a statement.

In light of the postponement of the France game, organisers said they would review Fagerson’s playing schedule and "consider the consequences of the postponement”.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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