ENGLAND second row George Kruis was last night handed a Six Nations reprieve after being served a threeweek ban for his tip tackle on Gloucester wing David Halaifonua.
Saracens forward Kruis pleaded guilty at a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing in central London and will be suspended until Monday 2 February following his dangerous tackle citing at Kingsholm last Friday.
The length of the sanction means the 24-year-old will be eligible to face Wales in England’s Six Nations opener in Cardiff on 6 February, should he be included in head coach Stuart Lancaster’s squad for the Championships.
Kruis is yet to make an international start but featured in all four of England’s autumn international tussles against southern hemisphere opponents, and is set to compete for a starting berth with the likes of Courtney Lawes, Dave Attwood and Geoff Parling.
The news is likely to come as a relief to Lancaster and England forwards coach Graham Rowntree, who are already without injured back-row duo Ben Morgan and Joe Launchbury.
The suspension means Kruis will be unavailable for Saracens as they bid to secure their passage to the European Champions Cup knockout phase this month against Munster and Clermont Auvergne.