THE SIX-MATCH ban imposed on Leeds Rhinos forward Brett Ferres has been described as a “big blow” to the club and player.
Ferres was suspended by the Rugby Football League’s disciplinary committee after being accused of making grade E dangerous contact with Wigan’s Oliver Gildart in the 39th minute of Leeds’ 26-18 win at Headingley last Friday.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane has said Gildart suffered a “serious back injury” and could be sidelined for up to three months.
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said he has not studied the incident in detail and declined to comment on the tackle, but he reflected: “A six-match suspension in this day and age is very severe. He has only just got back into the team after injury and to be losing him for six matches is a big blow to the player and club.”
Ferres, who admitted the charge, but challenged the Grade E grading, is a member of the England elite performance squad, but an RFL spokesman said the national team’s clash with Samoa in Australia on May 6 will not count towards his ban. He will miss Betfred Super League games against Warrington Wolves on Friday, Hull (April 14), Widnes Vikings (April 17), Huddersfield Giants (April 27) and Catalans Dragons (May 6) and the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie with Doncaster on April 21. If Rhinos win that game, he will be available for the Cup sixth round on the weekend of May 13/14. Leeds prop Brad Singleton has served half of a similar suspension.