La Rochelle head coach Ronan O'Gara has been hit with a ten-week suspension and fined €15,000 by the rugby authorities in France as a result of comments that were "harming the best interests of rugby".

O'Gara will now not be available for La Rochelle's upcoming Heineken Champions Cup pool games against Northampton Saints and Ulster, though he can appeal the ban and fine totalling €20,000, €5,000 of which was suspended.

It's the second time this season that the former Irish international has fallen foul of the French authorities, following a six-week suspension for 'disrespecting the authority of a match official'.

And now after seeking out officials privately and highlighting inconsistencies in games, particularly with regard to head high shots that the felt were not punished in a game against Toulouse, O'Gara finds himself in hot water again.

As things stand, O'Gara's suspension runs until 30 January next.