Kyle Sinckler will miss England’s autumn internationals after he was banned for seven weeks on Tuesday for eye-gouging.
The 24-year-old British and Irish Lion was cited for making contact with Northampton lock Michael Paterson’s eye during a 30-22 defeat in the English Premiership on Sunday.
“I accept the outcome of the hearing and wanted to go on record to say I am sorry that I have let my team-mates down,” Sinckler said in a statement issued by Harlequins.
“More importantly I feel terrible that anyone would think I would deliberately gouge an opponent. That was never my intention – it was a genuine mistake and an act of recklessness on my part.
“I will spend the next seven weeks working hard on my fitness and rugby to ensure that when I am able to get back on the field I am fit and ready to do so and make the best possible contribution to Quins.”
The entry point sanction for the offence is 12 weeks, meaning five weeks were shaved off by the panel.