• Reuters

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Australia loose-forward David Pocock has been suspended for three weeks after pleading guilty to a charge of playing an opponent without the ball in the ACT Brumbies’ 48-23 Super Rugby loss to the Waikato Chiefs on Saturday.

Pocock grasped the neck of Chiefs No. 8 Michael Leitch in a maul six minutes from the end of the game, leaving the Japan skipper stricken on the ground, but did not receive any sanction from Australian referee Angus Gardner.

The 27-year-old will only miss two Super Rugby matches, away against the Waratahs (April 16) and home to the Canterbury Crusaders (April 24), as the Canberra-based side has a bye this coming weekend.

“With respect to sanction, I deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of two weeks,” (governing body) SANZAAR duty judicial officer Adam Cassleden said in a statement on Tuesday.

“I then added one week for aggravation due to the need to deter this type of dangerous foul play. The player is free to resume playing on April 25.”

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