Russian banned for eight matches for kicking Australian in the head

Russian women's sevens captain Alena Mikhaltsova has until late on Sunday evening to decide whether she wants to appeal an eight-game suspension for kicking Australia's Evania Pelite at the Sydney Sevens.

Mikhaltsova was initially hit with a maximum 12-game suspension for the ugly hit but the ban was downgraded to eight weeks because of mitigating circumstances - in that she has a clean sheet.

Pelite was kicked in the head by Mikhaltsova while she was on the ground.

Expect a few months off Steve Lenthall (@steve_l15) January 27, 2018

World Rugby immediately cited Mikhaltsova for the kick, which could have caused significant damage to Pelite's head.

While the kick did not look completely intentional when replayed, there is no denying it was reckless and unnecessary.

Shortly after the 22-year-old Australian dusted herself off and made a tackle before then making a try-saving stop on Mikhaltsova.

It is understood World Rugby officials concluded Mikhaltsova did t make contact with the head.

The Russian team was notified of the suspension about 11pm on Saturday and have 24 hours to appeal the ruling.

However, Mikhaltsova was unable to take part in the final day of the tournament in Sydney.

If she accepts the eight-week ban, she will also miss the next World Series leg in Japan in April.

This story Russian banned for eight matches for kicking Australian in the head first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.