Toothless four-week rugby ban for Shark Botha

Johannesburg (AFP) –


Coastal Sharks skipper Ruan Botha was handed a four-week ban from rugby Monday, but it will have no impact as he will not play again until a week after the suspension ends.

The lock was red-carded for a deliberate shoulder charge seven minutes from time in a 29-13 Super Rugby defeat by Jaguares in Buenos Aires last weekend.

His suspension ends on June 23 and Sharks' next match is seven days later against Golden Lions in Durban.

In South Africa, the first four weekends of June are reserved for Tests and Botha is not part of a 43-man national squad chosen for matches against Wales and England.

He was among four players banned by Super Rugby organisers SANZAAR for red and yellow-card offences at the weekend.

Winger Raymond Rhule of Western Stormers got a three-match ban after being sent off for using his elbow in a late tackle as his team lost 26-23 to Lions in Cape Town.

Stormers centre JJ Englebrecht received a one-week ban but, like Botha and Rhule, he will not miss any Super Rugby matches.

The only effective ban is a one-week suspension of ACT Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga'a after he was red-carded for head-butting in a 38-28 victory over Northern Bulls in Pretoria.

He must sit out Brumbies' final pre-Test season match, against Sunwolves in Canberra this Saturday.