Tonga star banned for Bok clash

Loose forward Vaea Fifita will miss Tonga's last two World Cup pool games, that includes Sunday's match against the Springboks, due to suspension.

The powerful No 8 copped a heavy suspension from World Rugby, which stems from a red card-worthy shoulder charge on Finn Russell in a Pool B defeat to Scotland last week.

Initially yellow-carded, it was upgraded post-match and at a hearing on Tuesday, the former All Black admitted foul play but disputed the red card, to no avail.

The disciplinary panel deemed his actions reckless and dangerous. Ultimately, he received a four-game ban, including the showdown with the Boks and against Romania, along with two club matches for Scarlets.

“Tonga's Vaea Fifita attended an independent Disciplinary Committee hearing for an offence contrary to Law 9.20(a) [dangerous charging into a ruck or maul] as a result of a review by the Foul Play Review Official in Tonga's Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool B match against Scotland on 24 September,” a World Rugby statement read.

“The player accepted the red card and was suspended for four matches.”

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Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

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