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Jacob Umaga to miss Toulouse game after ban for throat tackle

By Ian Cameron
Jacob Umaga (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Wasps’ standoff Jacob Umaga has copped a ban for a tackle that caught London Irish winger Ollie Hassell-Collins in the throat.

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He pleaded guilty at an independent disciplinary panel yesterday and will now miss Wasps’ Heineken Champions Cup match with Toulouse.

“Umaga received a red card in the 76th minute of the match between Wasps and London Irish on 26 December 2021 for dangerous tackling, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.13. Umaga pled guilty and received a three-match ban.”

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The tackle hit Hassle-Collins in the throat, with pitchside therapist Brian O’Leary saying: “We cleared his neck of any injury and assessed him for any signs or symptoms of a head injury. He described taking an impact to his throat and when given a drink of water reported pain when swallowing.”

As the incident happened in the 76th minute, there was no time for Hassle-Collins to take a HIA1 so he instead completed the HIA2  post-game, which he failed. He is now undergoing a graded return to play following the concussion guidelines.

According to the report: “The Player [Umaga] will say that he had no intention to make contact with the head of the London Irish player and that such unintended consequence was the result of his poor execution of the tackle. The Player had been seeking to make contact with the opposing player and the ball. The Player candidly accepts that he got his body height, and execution wrong. By his plea, the Player accepts that the referee’s decision on the field was correct having regard to the implementation of the Head Contact Process.”

As Umaga’s record is ‘completely clean’ his original 6-week ban was reduced down to a three-game ban. Umaga will miss his side’s upcoming Gallagher Premiership matches with Sale Sharks and Leicester Tigers, as well as their home clash with Toulouse in the Heineken Champions Cup.

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