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Nailiko banned for Hibbard punch

By Peter Thompson

Trending on RugbyPass

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La Rochelle lock Jone Qovu Nailiko has been given a two-week ban for punching Richard Hibbard during Gloucester’s European Challenge Cup semi-final victory on Saturday.


Nailiko hit former Wales hooker Hibbard in the stomach in the second half at Stade Marcel-Deflandre, but was not shown a card by the referee.

Fijian Nailiko had already been sent to the sin-bin for an elbow on Gloucester captain Willi Heinz in the Premiership side’s 16-14 success against the Top 14 leaders.

To make matters worse for Hibbard, Irish referee Andrew Brace told him “I don’t appreciate you throwing yourself on the ground. This is the wrong sport for that.”

Nailiko was cited following a review of the incident and will now miss the clashes with Montpellier and Clermont Auvergne after pleading guilty.

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Nailiko banned for Hibbard punch