British and Irish Lions lock Ian Evans will miss Wales' defence of the Six Nations championship after being banned by a disciplinary panel for 12 weeks for stamping on Leinster lock Mike McCarthy, reports Wales Online.
The 29-year-old was sent off in the 20th minute by referee Roman Poite in the Heineken Cup clash between the Ospreys and Leinster, in a match which ended with Leinster defeating the Welsh side 36-3.
Evans' ban is a blow for Wales coach Warren Gatland, who has already lost versatile forward Ryan Jones to injury, with fellow forwards Richard Hibbard and Sam Warburton also potential doubts for the opening game against Italy.
To further compound the selection woe, lock Bradley Davies is also out with a shoulder injury.
The stamp occurred when McCarthy found himself stuck under an Ospreys driving maul, with Evans appearing to stamp on his opposite number at least twice.
The stamp was certainly reckless, and Evans can have no complaints, particularly given the facial injuries sustained by the Leinster forward as a result of Evans' indiscipline.
Stamping punishments can range from two weeks to a year, although Evans was only given a 12 week ban due to remorse and his guilty plea.
But this leniency will not prevent him from missing the entire Six Nations, with fellow British and Irish Lion Alun Wyn Jones and Perpignan's Luke Charteris the favourites to occupy the second row spots.
Evans, who will not be available until the 21st of April, is set to join the exodus of Wales stars in the summer by joining French club Toulon at the end of the season.
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