SARACENS WILL BE without one of the key components of their pack when they host Munster in a make-or-break Champions Cup Pool 1 fixture on Saturday.

Second row George Kruis was this evening handed a three-week suspension for a dangerous ‘tip tackle’ on Gloucester wing David Halaifonua during the Friday night defeat at Kingsholm.

Source: Habi Aftabi/YouTube

The England international was shown a yellow card for the offence by referee JP Doyle, but after being cited he pleaded guilty to the offence at today’s disciplinary hearing.

The suspension rules the 24-year-old out of Saracens meetings with both Munster and Clermont, but means that he will be free to play again when England kick off their Six Nations campaign away to Wales.

Having reluctantly released Mouritz Botha to join the Sharks, Mark McCall named powerful 20-year-old Maro Itoje as a replacement lock on Friday. For this crucial Champions Cup meeting though, the England under 20 skipper is likely to remain in reserve with Alistair Hargeaves expected to return to partner Jim Hamilton.

Munster awaiting scan result as Conor Murray sits out training with neck injuryLuke Marshall set for another spell on the sidelines following fifth concussion