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Hala'ufia faces lengthy ban

Chris Hala'ufia could be facing another lengthy spell on the sidelines after being called to an RFU disciplinary hearing following his red card in London Welsh's 38-17 defeat at Leicester Tigers.

The former London Irish number eight was dismissed after striking Laurence Pearce in the head as the Leicester forward lay prone on the Welford Road turf in the April 25 Aviva Premiership clash.

Hala'ufia will face an independent panel chaired by Anthony Davies at London's Bloomsbury Holiday Inn on Wednesday May 6 at 12.30pm.

Tonga loose-forward Hala'ufia's red-card action immediately followed a high hit on Pearce, who scored two tries for the Tigers, in a match where he also produced a heavy tackle on a pitch-invading streaker.

Hala'ufia's bone-crunching hits have cemented all-but a decade of top-level British rugby, with Harlequins, London Irish, Scarlets and now London Welsh.

The 25-cap back-rower's raw aggression has too often spilled over into disciplinary problems however, and should the panel consider this case worthy of suspension, his previous misdemeanours could easily lengthen any ban.

A four-week ban for striking Leinster's Leo Cullen in January 2010 marked his card, before he received a three-week sanction for a dangerous tackle on Wasps' Dave Walder three months later.

A dangerous charge on Northampton's Shane Geraghty brought an eight-week lay-off in February 2011, before he was hit with a seven-week sanction for a dangerous tackle on Gloucester's Olly Morgan in October of the same year.

Then a dangerous challenge on Racing Metro full-back Gaetan Germain in December 2011 yielded an 11-week ban, eventually imposed in March 2012.

Hala'ufia broke his own forearm tackling Germain during the Exiles' 34-14 Heineken Cup win over Racing in Paris in December 2011, with the disciplinary hearing delayed until he had recovered.

London Irish imposed an internal six-week suspension and fine, with money donated to charity, but those efforts did little to ease the eventual ban.

Hala'ufia was hit with a four-week suspension for a tip tackle on Sale's David Seymour in December 2013, and now finds himself up before the disciplinary bosses once again.


From Belfast Telegraph