Connacht's Abraham Papali'i has been handed a five-week ban for a red card he received in last weekend's big win over Zebre.

Papali'i had been on the pitch less than 10 minutes when he was shown the card, with Referee Dan Jones ruling that he had "led with his head forward" in a challenge on Tommaso Boni after going to the TMO.

The Guinness Pro14 upheld the decision under law 9.13, which states that, "a player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders."

The panel deemed the offence to be "mid-range" and reduced the length of the original ban down to five weeks for the New Zealander's co-operation during the hearing.

The back-row still has the option to appeal.

Meanwhile, the province has also provided an injury update . 

Caolin Blade (hamstring) and Tiernan O'Halloran (adductor) will integrate into squad training next week, while Tom Farrell (knee) will see a specialist following his injury last weekend.

Stephen Fitzgerald (knee) had a minor knee procedure this week and will aim to return to training in early January.Oisin Dowling (back) will step up training involvement over the coming weeks. 

Niall Murray (shoulder), Ben O'Donnell (knee), Conor Dean (thumb), Cillian Gallagher (shoulder) and Peter Robb (groin) remain unavailable.  

ConnachtJohn Porch, Peter Sullivan, Sammy Arnold, Tom Daly,  Alex Wootton,  Conor Fitzgerald, Colm Reilly; Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Jack Aungier, Eoghan Masterson, Gavin Thornbury, Sean O'Brien, Conor Oliver, Paul Boyle (c)

Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Paddy McAllister, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Cian Prendergast, Jarrad Butler, Stephen Kerins, Sean O’Brien, Colm de Buitlear.

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