Mike Brown’s Harlequins career over after six-week ban for stamping

Mike Brown’s Harlequins career has been brought to an abrupt end after he was handed a six-week ban following his red card for stamping last weekend, ensuring he will miss the rest of the season.

Marrone, who will join Newcastle in the summer, was initially given a 12-week ban for a stamp to the head of Wasps’ Tommy Taylor – reduced to six on mitigation – but with only four matches left of the regular season, the 35-year-old will miss Harlequins’ run-in, even if they reach the Premiership final.

It is a desperate end to Brown’s illustrious career with the club he first appeared for in 2005, going on to make 351 appearances. Harlequins are currently in fourth place, nine points clear of Northampton in fifth and well-placed to reach the Premiership playoffs. Marrone, tuttavia, will now play no part in their pursuit of the title he helped Harlequins win in 2012 – though he does have the right to appeal the verdict.

The disciplinary panel determined that Brown’s stamp warranted a top-end sanction, meaning a ban of 12 weeks but given it was the first red card of his career, and because he accepted the charge and showed “honesty and contrition” throughout the hearing he was awarded the maximum possible mitigation. His return-to-play date has not yet been finalised as it is unclear precisely when Harlequins’ season will end so there is the chance Brown’s ban extends into the start of his Newcastle career.

“The panel reviewed extensive video footage which included numerous angles and speeds and heard direct evidence from the player as to his actions and intentions,” read an RFU statement. “Having considered the totality of the evidence the Panel was satisfied that whilst this was a stamp to the head, it was not deliberate. Given the location of the contact and the nature of the actions the panel considered that this was a top end entry point but that there was no reason to go above the starting point of 12 settimane.

“The player has an unblemished disciplinary record over a long and illustrious career, he accepted the charge at the earliest opportunity and impressed the Panel with his honesty and obvious contrition throughout the hearing. The panel had no hesitation in allowing the maximum mitigation of 50%. The panel would encourage supporters of the game to avoid viewing this as nothing more than a brief video on social media which does not capture the full nature of the incident.”

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