Wellington - Stormers rugby captain Corne Krige has played his last Super 12 match after being slapped with an eight-week ban for headbutting on Monday.
The former Springboks skipper was banned until June 21 after a three-hour hearing in Wellington, before a New Zealand Rugby Football Union judicial panel chaired by Bruce Squire, QC.
But he was granted an exemption to play for the British Barbarians in three internationals at the end of next month, with the panel taking into account his "outstanding international record".
Video footage of the incident during Friday night's match against the Chiefs clearly showed Krige headbutting opponent Derek Maisey twice at a ruck.
The ban will see Krige miss the Stormers' final two round robin matches against the Crusaders and Sharks, and any playoff matches.
The Stormers are currently third on the Super 12 table.
Krige left the hearing in a hurry and brushed off reporters and photographers outside with a firm "no comment".
Krige, who stepped down from the Springboks captaincy after the 2003 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal exit, previously confirmed he was quitting South African rugby at the end of the Super 12.
He was likely to join up with an as yet unnamed British club.
This wasn't Krige's first brush with officialdom. He was fined by the South African Rugby Football Union in January 2003 over a bad-tempered display in the 53-3 drubbing by England at Twickenham the previous November.
A British television programme later highlighted numerous alleged incidents of foul play.
He was also cited in 2002 for allegedly biting All Blacks No 8 Scott Robertson on the leg, though the charge was thrown out.
He also came in for criticism from Wallabies coach Eddie Jones after the Tri-Nations encounter in Brisbane in 2003, which saw Bakkies Botha and Robbie Kempson suspended for foul play. - Sapa-NZPA