One-week ban for Waqaniburotu

Date published: September 21 2015

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Dominiko Waqaniburotu of Fiji has been suspended for one week after admitting an act of foul play.

Following a review of broadcast footage, Waqaniburotu was cited by Independent Citing Commissioner Douglas Hunter (Scotland) under Law 10.4(j) for a ‘dangerous tip tackle’ in the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A match against England.

The case was heard by Independent Judicial Officer Professor Lorne Crerar (Scotland) in accordance with the Rugby World Cup 2015 Disciplinary process.

Having conducted a detailed review of all the evidence available, including all broadcast angles and additional evidence from the player and submissions from his legal representative Chris Smith, the Judicial Officer considered that the incident was more appropriately characterised as a dangerous tackle in breach of Law 10.4(e) rather than 10.4(j).  

Law 10.4(e) carries lower entry points than Law 10.4(j). With respect to the sanction, the offence was deemed to be low-end (which has an entry point of two weeks).

However, taking into account mitigating factors including his admission and remorse and the absence of aggravating factors, the player was suspended for a period of one week.

In the context of the Rugby World Cup tournament a week equates to one match. Therefore Waqaniburotu is suspended for Fiji’s match against Australia on Wednesday and therefore he is available for Fiji’s third Pool A match against Wales on October 1.

The player has 48 hours in which to appeal from the time he was informed of the decision. The full judgment will be available within the next 24 hours.

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