Top 14 hearings impact on Euro play-offs
DISCIPLINARY NEWS: All Black midfielder Ma’a Nonu will miss Friday’s Champions Cup Round of 16 match at Leicester.
He was suspended for three weeks, following his red card while playing for Toulon last weekend in the Top 14 at Lyon.
Samoa international Joe Tekori, though, will be available for the Toulouse match on Saturday at Munster, despite citing following a French league game versus Montpellier.
The soon-to-be 39-year-old Nonu, the 103-times capped All Black centre, rejoined Toulon earlier this season following a stint in Major League Rugby, but he has now paid a price for his sending-off at Matmut Stadium.
A Top 14 disciplinary hearing statement read: “Ma’a Nonu was found responsible for brutality and in particular for punching or hitting with the hand or the arm. Given the severity, a six-week suspension was proposed.
“In view of the mitigating circumstances (acknowledgement of guilt and expression of remorse), the sanction was reduced by three weeks leaving Nonu suspended for three weeks.
The suspension took effect on the day of the game and given that the schedule of matches to be played by Toulon, Nonu’s re-qualification date will be communicated later.”
Tekori, the 37-year-old who had 37 Samoan caps, was found not guilty at his disciplinary hearing. A statement read: “After viewing the video images of the action in question, hearing the arguments of Tekori and his representatives, the disciplinary and rules committee decided that there was no reason for disciplinary action. Tekori is therefore qualified to play in Toulouse’s next match.
It’s a favourable outcome for Toulouse given that red tape surround virus regulations will deny them the use of Rynhardt Elstadt in Ireland.
The Springboks forward would have been free to play if the game was in France as he had served the necessary isolation period following a recent trip to South Africa, but Irish protocols governing people who have in that country are longer.
By Sam Smith, RugbyPass