LONDON - New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore has been handed a five-week ban for striking Wales lock Bradley Davies during last weekend's Test in Cardiff, and will miss this weekend's Test against England.
Hore's king hit, which was not seen by referee Craig Joubert or his assistants, left Davies with concussion that has ruled him out of Wales' final Test match against Australia.
With veteran All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu struggling with a calf injury, New Zealand coach Steve Hansen may have to award Dane Coles his first Test start.
A statement issued by Six Nations Rugby, which oversees the disciplinary process for the European Tests, read: "The judicial officer (Crerar) held that the act of foul play was inherently dangerous, being a deliberate swinging of the arm, delivered with significant force, causing serious injury to the victim player, Bradley Davies, who was unsighted.
"However, the judicial officer found that the player had not intended to make contact with the victim player's head.
"In categorising the seriousness of the offence the judicial officer held that it was worthy of a top end entry point under the IRB's sanctions table, and that the entry point should be eight weeks."