Wasps' Johnson cops three week ban

Wasps' Christian Wade consoles Ashley Johnson after he is sin-binned, Wasps v Leinster, European Rugby Champions Cup, Ricoh Arena, January 24, 2015 Getty Images

Wasps flanker Ashley Johnson has been handed a three week ban for a dangerous tackle on Dave Kearney in the European Champions Cup match against Leinster on Saturday.

Johnson was sent to the sin bin after just 24 seconds of the 20-20 draw at the Ricoh Arena.

The three-cap South Africa flanker escaped a red card despite upending the airborne wing Kearney, who landed awkwardly and damaged his shoulder. Johnson was later cited and handed a three-week suspension at a disciplinary hearing in Dublin on Thursday.

Johnson pleaded guilty to the charge of "tackling the jumper in the air" at the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) hearing, with independent judicial officer Simon Thomas ruling the offence merited a red card.

"In upholding the citing complaint, the judicial officer determined that the offence was reckless and warranted a red card and that it was in the mid-range (six weeks) of World Rugby's sanctions for offences of this nature," read the EPCR statement.

"As there were no aggravating factors he reduced the suspension by the maximum amount of three weeks due to the player's guilty plea, remorse, good conduct during the hearing and clean disciplinary record."

The 28-year-old loose-forward will miss Wasps' LV= Cup contests against Cardiff Blues and Northampton Saints, and the Aviva Premiership home clash with Harlequins.