NEWCASTLE Falcons prop Kieran Brookes has been handed a six-week ban for pushing referee Greg Garner during Sunday's Aviva Premiership match against Leicester.
Brookes was cited for physical abuse of a match official for recklessly pushing or otherwise making contact with Garner in Newcastle's 41-18 defeat to the Tigers at Kingston Park.
The Rugby Football Union confirmed the 23-year-old England Saxons player had pleaded guilty to acts contrary to good sportsmanship during a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday night and that he is now suspended until April 20.
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That means Brookes will miss Newcastle's next four Premiership games, but will be available to the final two matches of the season against London Wasps and Exeter Chiefs.
The Falcons are second-bottom of the standings, 11 points above Worcester and ten behind London Irish immediately above them.