Malakai Fekitoa will miss Friday’s night Gallagher Premiership match against Worcester after the Wasps midfielder was handed a one-match ban for receiving three foul play yellow cards in the 2019/20 season.   

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The former All Blacks centre came into last weekend’s restart having been carded twice in the disrupted league campaign, initially for a clear-out last October and next for an off-the-ball tackle in March – both offences coming versus Gloucester. 

Fekitoa was then asked to attend a virtual disciplinary hearing on Tuesday following his latest yellow card after he collided high with Northampton’s Fraser Dingwall in last Sunday’s win by Wasps at Northampton. 

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At the hearing, an independent disciplinary panel comprising Ian Unsworth (chair), Mitch Read and Tony Wheat considered Fekitoa’s case on papers and gave him a one-match suspension, freeing him to play again on August 25, the day Wasps will welcome Sale Sharks to the Ricoh. 

In the hearing’s verdict summary, it was noted that Fekitoa accepted the charge at the first possible opportunity and that his only disciplinary appearance was a citing in 2016 when playing for New Zealand (an on-field yellow was upgraded to a red card and a one-week ban following citing review).

“Malakai and Wasps accept all three yellow cards which have been awarded for different offences during the season and believe them to all be fairly and accurately awarded. We see no requirement to review any of these nor do we seek to introduce further information around them. We agree with all three referees reports and believe them to be accurate,” read the mitigation part of the summary. 

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The referee report submitted by Karl Dickson following last Sunday’s yellow said: “Wasps No13 bent at the waist and… makes a tackle which from the angles and footage we saw throughout thought it started on the chest and then rose up with his right arm over the shoulder. We couldn’t get a conclusive angle to establish contact point.”

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