London Irish back rower Chris Hala’ufia has been banned for eight weeks after being found guilty of a dangerous tackle on Shane Geraghty during the LV= Cup match on January 29. He pleaded guilty before an RFU Disciplinary Panel of Jeremy Summers (chair), Elizabeth Riley and Dr Julian Morris and was suspended until April 5. He can play again on April 6. Summers said: “This was a cynical and deliberate act of foul play aimed at taking out an opponent, with the player making no attempt to execute a lawful tackle or to intercept the pass.
“Expert medical opinion has clearly identified the risk of serious injury arising from offending of this kind. Because of that risk, an IRB Memorandum of 21st January 2011 made clear that tackles above the shoulder must be dealt with severely. This sanction reflects that direction. The player’s poor previous disciplinary record was also taken into consideration.”
The dismissal of Rob Hawkins of Leicester Tigers after receiving two yellow cards for foul play during the LV= Cup match against Bath Rugby on February 4 was deemed sufficient and he can continue playing.