Ulster's Nick Williams will miss the rest of the season with his province after being hit with an eight-week suspension for striking an opponent.

Williams was cited for flooring Cardiff Blues' Rhys Patchell during Ulster's 37-16, an incident for which he was sin-binned on the night.

Patchell spent the night in hospital being assessed after the incident and Williams was subsequently cited.

Williams appeared before a PRO12 Rugby Disciplinary Committee hearing today which found that the incident was at the top end of the World Rugby sanctions for this type of offence.

However a statement from the committee read: "In the absence of any aggravating factors and in light of several mitigating factors, including the player's exemplary previous playing record, the Disciplinary Committee applied an eight-week reduction from the entry point and suspended the player from playing for eight weeks."

"Taking into account the matches remaining this season, and two warm up matches scheduled for the start of next season, Williams is free to resume playing from Monday, 1 September 2015 and has the right of appeal."