The Toyota Cheetahs will have to make do without the services of their star centre, Nico Lee, for the remainder of the Guinness Pro14.
Lee was slapped with a heavy 26-week ban, of which 13 weeks are suspended for unsportsmanlike behaviour during last weeks Pro14 clash against Connacht in Galway.
Lee was cited for an incident in the 64th minute of the match. Earlier in the game, he spent ten minutes in the sin-bin for a high tackle as well.
The Cheetahs released a statement regarding Lee’s disciplinary hearing and subsequent sanction.
“The Free State Cheetahs has recently been informed of the punishment imposed on Nico Lee, centre of the Toyota Cheetahs, due to his uncharacterised behaviour.
The unsportsmanlike behaviour is seen in a very serious light by rugby hierarchy. The Toyota Cheetahs condemn this behaviour which is not part of the team culture and accept the punishment as such.
Nico is a star player and according to information from the team, he deeply regrets his behaviour and apologised immediately after the match to the opponent.
The Toyota Cheetahs realise that he is remorseful of his actions and the team accepts the apology.
The centre, Benhard Janse van Rensburg will be joining the Toyota Cheetahs in Wales, ahead of the clash against Scarlets in Llanelli on Sunday.
The team management will be taking care of the situation in Cardiff, Wales.”
Lee issued an apology via video from Cardiff. Lee was reminded of his right to appeal.
WATCH: Nico Lee apology
— OFM Sport (@OfmSport) February 20, 2019
– MORGAN PIEK