RUGBY UNION: London Welsh's Thorpe is ruled out of semis

The Oxford Times: Richard Thorpe Richard Thorpe

GREENE KING IPA CHAMPIONSHIP

RICHARD Thorpe will miss both legs of London Welsh’s play-off semi-final after receiving a three-week ban for punching.

The back-row forward admitted the charge of punching or striking contrary to Law 10.4(a) following his red card in Welsh’s 25-21 defeat at leaders Bristol.

Thorpe, who was also ordered to pay £250 costs, can play again on May 20, so will be available for the two-legged play-off final on May 29 and June 4 if Welsh progress.

The first match he misses is tomorrow’s clash with Nottingham at Old Deer Park where Welsh need two points to bag a second-place finish.

But victory is the only thing on their minds as they seek to bounce back from the Bristol defeat.

The Exiles bagged a play-off spot last month, but finishing second will enable them to choose which semi-final leg they want to host.

“This is just another step on the road of trying to achieve promotion,” said assistant coach Ollie Smith.

“We are coming in off the back of a defeat. Of course there’s things we want to put right.

“We want to finish the season on a high.

“We want to be going into the play-offs having won our last game rather than having lost the last two.”

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