Exeter Chiefs back rows Sam Skinner and Dave Ewers will play no further part in the Premiership season after receiving four-week bans from a disciplinary panel.
Skinner and Ewers will miss Saturday’s semi-final play-off against Sale Sharks, a repeat of last week’s season climax in which Skinner was red carded and Ewers was later cited for a dangerous tackle.
Scotland back-five forward Skinner was dismissed by referee Karl Dickson in the second half of the 20-19 comeback win. This came after Skinner caught Sale scrum-half Faf de Klerk high, with no mitigating factors.
Exeter had been fortunate not to be reduced to 14 men sooner, after Dave Ewers made contact with the head of full-back Simon Hammersley on 33 minutes but went unpunished.
Both players contested the charges at a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday evening.
In a statement, the panel said: “Both cases involved direct contact with an opponent’s head that carried a high degree of danger.
“None of the mitigating factors set out in the World Rugby Head Contact Process which would have justified the red card otherwise being reduced to a yellow card were present.
“Neither player accepted the charge and so full mitigation credit was not available to them.”
The ban means that should Exeter advance past Sale this weekend, Skinner and Ewers will still miss June 26’s Premiership final for the reigning champions.