Rugby

Australia's Reece Hodge handed three-game suspension, to miss rest of Rugby World Cup pool stage

AP

Winger Reece Hodge will miss Australia’s three remaining pool matches at the Rugby World Cup after he was suspended on Wednesday for a dangerous high tackle.

He won’t be available for the Wallabies’ remaining Pool D games against Wales, Uruguay, and Georgia. He can appeal.

Hodge was cited for a shoulder-led hit on the head of Fiji flanker Peceli Yato that saved a try in the first half of their match last Saturday in Sapporo.

“There was a high degree of danger,” the independent disciplinary committee said in a statement.

Yato had to leave the field with symptoms of concussion, and missed Fiji’s second pool game on Wednesday against Uruguay.

After a four-hour hearing in Tokyo, World Rugby said Hodge was found guilty of a reckless high tackle to the head that was worthy of a red card. Hodge was not sanctioned on the field at the time by New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe.

The committee considered a six-week sanction, the minimum in the laws, and reduced it to three after regarding Hodge’s disciplinary record, character, and conduct.

He will be available to play in the knockout rounds.

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