WORCESTER Warriors' prop Rory Sutherland has been banned for three games after the red card he picked up in the second minute of the 22-19 defeat at Bath. 

The Scotland and British and Irish Lion made contact with the head of Bath's Will Stuart and was shown the red card by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys. 

He will miss the two European Challenge Cup games with Toulon this weekend and Zebre next weekend, as well as the Gallagher Premiership clash with Northampton Saints on January 29. 

But, Sutherland will be able to face Northampton if he successfully completes the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme. 

Sutherland had tried to convince the independent disciplinary panel, comprising Charles Cuthbert (chair), Olly Kohn and Tony Wheat, that Stuart's actions were worthy of mitigation. 

Something that head coach Jonathan Thomas was in support of. 

"We did not think it was a red card," he said

"If you go to the World Rugby website and look at what defines a red card, a yellow card and a penalty with a head on head collision, it was clear to us that it was a yellow.

"It was obvious to us that Rory was not the aggressor, he was static at the point of contact, and the huge mitigating factor was that the Bath player used footwork which caused the collision. 

"The examples on World Rugby's website is that footwork before the collision is what brings a red card down to a yellow - that's the mitigation.

"We went through the process and that's why we felt strongly about the case but unfortunately the judiciary did not agree." 

Panel Chair, Charles Cuthbert said: “The player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play in which his head had made direct contact with that of the opposing player. It was not accepted that the act merited a red card. The player sought to persuade the panel that when applying the Head Contact Process (HCP) it was possible to apply mitigating factors on account of the ball carrier’s sideways step shortly before contact. 
“The panel considered the oral submissions from the club and the player as well as those of the RFU but did not find that the movement of the Bath player was sufficient to allow a reduction from red card to yellow card. The charge was therefore upheld. 
“The player had accepted that he committed an act of foul play, has a clean disciplinary record and was open and direct in response to questions asked. The panel allowed 50% mitigation accordingly. There were no aggravating features present and therefore the sanction remains 3 weeks. 
“The player sought permission to apply to World Rugby to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme which the panel approved. If the player successfully completes the coaching course, he will be available for the game against Northampton Saints on 29th January 2022.”