Wallabies lock slapped with four-week ban

Wallabies second rower Lukhan Salakaia-Loto has been handed a four-week ban for his red card against Argentina in Sydney on Saturday.

Salakaia-Loto has been suspended from all forms of the game for four weeks, up to and including Friday, 26 February 2021.

The Sanzaar foul play review committee of Adam Casselden SC (chairperson), Stefan Terblanche and Mike Mika assessed the case.

The committee accepted a guilty plea from Salakaia-Loto of Australia for contravening Law 9.13: ‘A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously’, when he made high contact with Argentina flank Santiago Grondona.

In his finding, Casselden 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 6 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 4 weeks. The Player was not entitled to a full 50% reduction due to the presence of a prior offence on his record.

‘The player is therefore suspended for 4 weeks, up to and including Friday, 26 February 2021.’

Photo: Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

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Dylan Jack