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Lengthy ban for Hala'ufia

London Irish forward Chris Hala'ufia has been banned for eight weeks for a dangerous tackle on Northampton Saints' Shane Geraghty during an LV= Cup match on January 29.

Hala'ufia pleaded guilty before an RFU disciplinary panel and was suspended until April 5. He can play again on April 6.

Panel chair Jeremy Summers said: "This was a cynical and deliberate act of foul play aimed at taking out an opponent, with the player making no attempt to execute a lawful tackle or to intercept the pass."

He added: "Expert medical opinion has clearly identified the risk of serious injury arising from offending of this kind.

"Because of that risk, an IRB (International Rugby Board) memorandum of January 21, made clear that tackles above the shoulder must be dealt with severely.

"This sanction reflects that direction. The player's poor previous disciplinary record was also taken into consideration."

Hala'ufia, who will miss six Aviva Premiership matches for Irish, received a four-week ban in January last year for striking Leinster lock Leo Cullen in a Heineken Cup match.

And in April 2010 he was also banned for three weeks for a dangerous tackle on Wasps fly-half Dave Walder.

Meanwhile, the dismissal of Leicester's Rob Hawkins after receiving two yellow cards for foul play during the LV= Cup match against Bath on February 4 was deemed sufficient and he can continue playing.


From Belfast Telegraph