DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 15, during the Sharks Captain's Run at Mr Price Kings Park on July 15, 2011 in Durban, South Africa Photo by Steve Haag / Gallo Images

Paris - Perpignan's relegation battle suffered a blow on Wednesday as influential flanker Jean-Pierre Perez was suspended for 20 days which will see him miss Top 14 games against leaders Toulouse and Stade Francais.

Perez was found guilty by the National Rubgy League (LNR) of dangerous play during the 29-23 defeat by Clermont on March 24 when he kneed Clermont centre Regan King in the temple while he was lying on the ground.

King was forced to go off suffering from concussion.

Perez insisted his gesture had been unintentional but his club had suspended him until the hearing.

Perpignan, champions as recently as 2009, are struggling in 12th place just six points above Bayonne, who in 13th spot occupy the last relegation position with four games of the league season remaining. - Sapa-AFP