LONDON Irish captain David Paice has been ruled out of their bottom-of-the-table clash with relegation rivals Worcester Warriors.

The experienced hooker has been suspended for five weeks after being shown red in Irish’s defeat at Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership last Saturday.

Paice pleaded guilty to dangerous charging and making contact with the head of Gloucester’s Willi Heinz.

He is not due to return until January 9, meaning he will miss Irish's trip to Warriors on Friday, December 22.

Disciplinary panel chairman Aidan O'Brien said: “The panel found that this was a reckless challenge in which contact was made with the head of the Gloucester player causing an injury.

“The entry point was mid-range, one week was added on to reflect the player’s previous disciplinary record and, after allowing mitigation to reflect the player’s guilty plea, remorse and conduct at the hearing, the final sanction is five weeks.

“The player is free to play on January 9 2018.”

Meanwhile, Byron McGuigan’s sending off in Sale Sharks’ 18-14 win over Warriors last Friday was deemed sufficient by the disciplinary panel and has avoided further punishment.

The wing received two yellow cards following a deliberate knock-on and a dangerous tackle on Bryce Heem.