Cape Town - South African lock Jacques du Plessis has copped a heavy five-week suspension following the red card he picked up in Montpellier's Champions Cup clash against Gloucester this past weekend.
The incident occured in the 56th minute of the match, which Montpellier went on to win 30-27, when Du Plessis struck Gerbrandt Grobler with his elbow in a maul.
It was not dissimilar to the red card French lock Sebastien Vahaamahina picked up at the 2019 World Cup during his side's quarter-final loss to Wales.
At his hearing, the former Bulls lock was found guilty and handed a six-week sanction with a further one week added due to his prior disciplinary record.
Because of his guilty plea and immediate expression of remorse, Du Plessis' suspension was reduced by two weeks resulting in a five-week ban.
He will next be available on December 30.