• Kyodo


Sunwolves back Jamie-Jerry Taulagi was handed a five-week ban Monday for a dangerous tackle in the 83rd minute of Saturday’s 27-20 loss to the Chiefs in Hamilton, New Zealand.

SANZAAR — the body that runs Super Rugby — said in a press release that Taulagi, who was shown a red card for using his shoulder to strike the head of Shaun Stevenson, pleaded guilty to “contravening Law 10.4(e) Dangerous tackling of an Opponent.”

“Taulagi has been suspended from all forms of the game for five weeks, up to and including Saturday, June 10,” the release said.

In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee chairman Nigel Hampton QC upheld the red card and initially handed down a six-week ban with an extra week added based on Taulagi’s past record, which included a red card in the 2016-17 Top League season while playing for Munakata Sanix Blues.

However, his guilty plea and on-field apology saw the suspension eventually reduced by two weeks.

“With respect to sanction, the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks,” Hampton said.

“One week was added to the sanction as aggravation owing to previous dangerous tackles on the player’s judicial record. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the player’s remorse, on-field apology and early guilty plea, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to five weeks.”

Taulagi is one of six players that will miss the Sunwolves’ next game against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on May 6.

Hooker Takeshi Kizu, prop Heiichiro Ito, scrumhalf Fumiaki Tanaka, flyhalf Hayden Cripps and wing Teruya Goto have all been ruled out of the trip to Argentina as the result of injury.

They will be replaced by Takeshi Hino, Keisuke Uchida, Jumpei Ogura, Kenki Fukuoka and Ryohei Yamanaka.

Following the game in South America, the Sunwolves have a week off before they take on the Sharks in Singapore on May 20. They then play the Cheetahs in Tokyo on May 27 before Super Rugby takes a break for the June test window.

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