AUCKLAND - South African lock Flip van der Merwe will miss his nation's Rugby Championship decider against the All Blacks after being banned for a week for a dangerous tackle.
Van der Merwe was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle on Wallabies winger Joe Tomane in the Springboks' 28-8 win last weekend but was subsequently cited for striking after the commissioner deemed it met the red card threshold for foul play.
Judicial officer Nicholas Davidson ruled the tackle was dangerous, executed high and leading with the forearm and without any attempt to grasp the player in the initial contact. He said it was also a strike, but not intentional as cited.
Van der Merwe has not been suspended before at international and Super Rugby level and Davidson said this and his conduct, including a concerned approach to Tomane, warranted a discount to a one-week suspension only.
South Africa host competition leaders New Zealand in Johannesburg in the final round.
The Boks need to win with a bonus point, while also depriving the All Blacks of a bonus point, to lift the title.