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Ardie Savea cited for cut-throat gesture

By Ian Cameron
Photo: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Hurricanes rugby star Ardie Savea has been cited for alleged foul play over his controversial cut-throat gesture against the Rebels in the Super Round in Melbourne.


Although the Hurricanes won, the incident was the talk of social media during and after the Super Rugby Pacific match against the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne. The loose-forward was given a yellow card for his involvement in an all-in brawl just before break. As he walked off, the irate No.8 gestured to Melbourne halfback Ryan Louwrens, prompting teammate Reece Hodge to complain to referee James Doleman, ‘he’s threatening to kill him’.

The incident, which contravened Law 9.27 regarding good sportsmanship, was captured on match footage and subsequently reviewed by the Citing Commissioner.

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The Commissioner determined that the incident had met the threshold for a red card and the All Black will now face a hearing before the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee on Monday 6 March 2023, via video-conference. This is in line with the standard disciplinary process for all SANZAAR matters, as the Committee provides the option of expediting the judicial process.

To have the matter dispensed with at this initial hearing, Savea would need to plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the Foul Play Review Committee. The Committee will consider the evidence and decide on an appropriate penalty, if any.

Savea, a highly-regarded player for the Hurricanes, has apologised for the gesture – both publicly and to the player involved privately. “I can understand the fans are furious around the gesture that I made,” Savea told Stan Sport. “It was a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing, that’s footy but I understand, kids are watching us. That’s out of character for me so I put my hand up and I apologise for that … I’ve got to be better.”


Fans and supporters will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of the hearing, which could have significant implications for both the player and his team.

Hurricanes teammate Tevita Mafileo was also cited after he received a red card for foul play during the same game. The hooker is in hot water over alleged dangerous play at a ruck.



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RUGBYPASS+ 'Daring, gallus and honest, Stuart Hogg has defined a Scottish era' 'Daring, gallus and honest, Stuart Hogg has defined a Scottish era'