Australia wing Reece Hodge admitted to having no knowledge of the new tackle techniques after he was given a three-match ban for a dangerous challenge.
Hodge will miss the Wallabies’ remaining pool games against Wales, Uruguay and Georgia after he was cited for a shoulder-led, no-arms tackle to the head of Fiji’s Peceli Yato in Sapporo.
In the full written decision from World Rugby it said that: “The player [Hodge] conceded that he had no effective knowledge of WR’s decision-making framework for high tackles; had not been trained on it; was not across it because the tackles he makes are predominantly in the waist to knees area.”
Hodge escaped sanction during the game from referee Ben O’Keeffe with Fiji flanker Yato subsequently failing a head injury assessment. Australia went on to beat Fiji 39-21.
An independent disciplinary committee ruled Hodge had committed a reckless, rather than deliberate, act of foul play that warranted a red card.
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“In considering all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from Hodge and his legal representative, the committee deemed that the incident was an act of foul play and warranted a red card in line with the high tackle sanction framework,” World Rugby said.
Hodge’s suspension will end at midnight on October 11.
– Press Association
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