Rugby-New Zealand's Hore banned for five weeks for striking

Reuters Middle East

LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore will miss the rugby test against England on Saturday and three pre-season matches for club side Highlanders after being suspended for five weeks on Wednesday for striking an opponent.

Hore, 34, felled Wales lock Bradley Davies from behind in the opening minutes of Saturday's match in Cardiff and was found guilty of "inherently dangerous" foul play at a disciplinary hearing in Bristol, England.

A judicial officer appointed by the International Rugby Board (IRB) ruled that the offence should be dealt with at the top end of the IRB's sanctions table.

"The judicial officer held that the act of foul play was inherently dangerous, being a deliberate swinging of the arm, delivered with significant force, causing serious injury to the victim player, Bradley Davies, who was unsighted," disciplinary officials said in a media release.

"However, the judicial officer found that the player had not intended to make contact with the victim player's head."

The judicial officer had reduced the ban from a possible eight weeks, taking account of Hore's acceptance of his guilt, his remorse, his exemplary disciplinary record and his conduct during the hearing, the statement said.

Hore is suspended until Feb. 24, meaning he can serve most of his ban during his club pre-season.

Davies suffered severe concussion in the incident. Wales, who have a host of other injuries, have delayed naming their team for Saturday's game against Australia until Thursday. (Reporting By Mark Pangallo; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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