New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore has avoided an eight-week ban for striking Wales' Bradley Davies during the autumn international at the Millenium Stadium on Saturday but will miss the final test against England this weekend.
Hore has been given a five-week ban having been cited following the All Blacks' 33-10 win in Cardiff, a reduced punishment from a 'top end' offence due to his acceptance of guilt, remorse, previous disciplinary record and conduct during the hearing.
Davies, 25, will miss Wales' final international of the autumn against Australia as a result of a concussion suffered after the incident, which saw him knocked to the floor as he approached a New Zealand ruck.
"The judicial officer (Crerar) held that the act of foul play was inherently dangerous, being a deliberate swinging of the arm, delivered with significant force, causing serious injury to the victim, Bradley Davies, who was unsighted," a Six Nations Rugby statement read.
"However, the judicial officer found that the player had not intended to make contact with the victim player's head."
IRB guidelines state the minimum punishment for such an offence is between two and five weeks, while eight-week bans can be enforced for serious incidents.
With Saturday's match against England at Twickenham Hore's last scheduled appearance of the year, the ban will restart in 2013 and rules the 34 year old out of Super 15 province the Highlanders' first three pre-season games.
"The Judicial Officer heard submissions in detail as to when the suspension should end given that the player was entering the close season.
"The Judicial Officer received unreserved assurances from Ian Foster, Assistant Coach, New Zealand, the player and his legal representative that the pre-season matches to be played by the Highlanders during the weekends of 1, 8 and 15 February all had significant and meaningful consequences for the player in accordance with IRB Regulation 17."
The confirmation of his absence comes as injury fears continue over Dan Carter's participation in the world No.1's final autumn international against an England side, who are reeling following defeats against Australia and South Africa, themselves nursing injuries with fly-half Toby Flood unavailable with a toe injury.