2 Oct 2008

Ireland flanker banned for 18-weeks

7:58 am on 2 October 2008

The Northampton and Ireland flanker Neil Best has been banned for 18-weeks after pleading guilty to a charge of eye-gouging.

Best was cited for making contact with the eye of Wasps forward James Haskell in a Premiership match last month.

He said his actions had been "reckless" rather than deliberate but it still incurred one of the longest bans in recent seasons.

Best's Northampton team mate Dylan Hartley was given a six-month suspension for two counts of eye-gouging last year, also in a match against Wasps and with Haskell again one of the victims.