Rugby Union: Russell to miss Italy clash after ban upheld

Scotland's fly-half Finn Russell runs with the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Scotland, at the Stade de France, northern Paris on Feb 7, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Scotland's fly-half Finn Russell runs with the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Scotland, at the Stade de France, northern Paris on Feb 7, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Scotland fly-half Finn Russell will definitely miss his country's Six Nations clash at home to Italy on Saturday after his two week ban for a dangerous tackle was upheld on Wednesday.

A Six Nations appeal committee maintained the punishment which resulted when Russell tackled Dan Biggar of Wales during their 26-23 defeat at Murrayfield.

The 22-year-old Russell had appealed for the ban to be overturned but in vain and so will miss out on the potential wooden spoon decider between the two sides who are yet to win after two games of the tournament.

"The Appeal Committee, having considered submissions on behalf of the player and on behalf of the Six Nations disciplinary officer, dismissed the appeal with the result that the original sanction of a two-week suspension stands, with Finn Russell able to return to play on Mar 2, 2015," read a Six Nations statement.

Russell initially suceeded in having the ban reduced from three weeks to two in his first appeal and will now be available to face England at Twickenham on March 14.

The Scot clashed with Biggar as the Welshman jumped for a high ball during the first half and was punished with a yellow card by match referee Glen Jackson.

Ospreys back Biggar crashed to the turf but was able to continue and help his side to victory.

The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) have announced they will appeal the ruling and firmly state that the tackle was accidental and not deliberate.