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Saracens boss Venter suspended for final but hooker Brits escapes ban

SARACENS boss Brendan Venter is set to be banished to the stands for his side’s first ever Premiership final after he was last night handed a 14-week touchline ban.

Venter received a 10-week ban after being found guilty of making provocative and/or inappropriate gestures to the crowd following Saracens’ win at Leicester on 8 May.

That triggered an additional four-week punishment, which was suspended earlier this season when the South African was found guilty of criticising referees.

Venter was however found not guilty of pushing a female spectator in the aftermath of the Leicester game, in which Saracens ended the Tigers’ long unbeaten home record.

“Although clearly there may have been contact between the two it was accidental,” said Judge Jeff Blackett, the head of the Rugby Football Union’s disciplinary panel, who added that Venter’s actions had been “clearly unacceptable.”

Despite the lengthy ban Venter will in fact only miss the final. Saracens immediately lodged an appeal against Venter’s ban and hope it will be heard before the match, also against Leicester, on 29 May.

Influential hooker Schalk Brits pleaded guilty to making gestures but dodged a ban, meaning he is free to play in the final.