WORCESTER Warriors' winger Duhan van der Merwe has been ruled out for the remainder of the Six Nations after he receieved a three match ban following his red card against London Irish last weekend.

The incident saw van der Merwe make contact with the face of Irish's Kyle Rowe using his forearm when running with the ball in the 45th minute of the 43-12 defeat.

He appeared before an independent disciplinary panel comprising Jeremy Summers (chair) with Philip Davies and Mitch Read on Tuesday evening. 

Van der Merwe accepted that foul play had occurred but questioned whether the red card threshold had been met.  

The panel upheld the red card and van der Merwe received a three-week ban, however, subject to completing the World Rugby Coaching Intervention programme he will be free again to play against Gloucester on 25 March.

Panel chair, Jeremy Summers said: “The player had sufficient time and opportunity to have executed a lawful hand-off but failed to do so.  

"The contact he then made to an opponent’s head was direct, at speed and involved a leading forearm all of which are factors pointing to high danger and a red card in the World Rugby Head Contact Process.

"No low danger or mitigating factors were present and, whilst some may feel it resulted in a harsh outcome, the referee correctly applied the HCP.”

The powerful strike runner was always going to miss the next two games for Worcester anyway due to being involved with Scotland but the ban will mean he misses the game with Italy this weekend and Ireland next Saturday.

He will then return to the squad for the trip to Gloucester at the end of the month.