Wallabies flank gets four-week ban

Wallabies flank Lachlan Swinton will miss the rest of the Tri-Nations after receiving a four-match ban for his dangerous tackle against the All Blacks.

Swinton was red-carded during the first half of the Wallabies’ 24-22 victory over New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday.

The 23-year-old, who was making his debut for the Wallabies, appeared to collide with All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock’s chin in the 35th minute of the match, leaving referee with no choice but to brandish a red card.

Swinton was subsequently cited under Law 9.13: ‘A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.’

The Sanzaar foul-play review committee on Monday confirmed that it has accepted a guilty plea from Swinton and that he has been suspended from all forms of the game for four weeks, up to and including Saturday, 6 February 2021.

This means that Swinton will miss the rest of the Tri-Nations tournament, with the Wallabies still set to face Argentina twice on 21 November and 5 December.

In his finding, committee chairman Adam Casselden SC ruled the following:

‘Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions from his legal representative, Maryjane Crabtree, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.13.

‘With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level.

‘However, taking into account mitigating factors including the fact the Player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to four weeks. The Player was not entitled to a full 50% reduction due to the presence of two prior offences on his record.

‘The player is therefore suspended for 4 weeks, up to and including Saturday 6 February 2021.’

Meanwhile, All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi, who was also red-carded for a similar tackle, will appear at a Sanzaar judicial committee hearing to be held by video conference on Tuesday, 10 November.

Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images