A Rugby World Cup indiscretion has come back to haunt Samoan international Motu Matu’u.

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The London Irish hooker appeared before an independent disciplinary panel this afternoon for his red card offence over the weekend.

The Samoan was sent off by referee Ian Tempest in the 33rd minute of the match between Worcester Warriors and London Irish on Saturday 28 December 2019. This was for dangerous tackling, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.13.

Matu’u accepted the charge and was given a five-week suspension by Jeremy Summers sitting as sole judicial officer. The player is free to play again on Tuesday 18 February 2020.

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Independent judicial officer Jeremy Summers said: “This was a reckless tackle which, as the player accepted, he had got technically wrong. While both arms were attempting to wrap, he nevertheless led with his head up and in to contact with an opponent making contact with his head which carried an inherent risk of causing a potentially serious injury.

“There were no aggravating features to warrant an increase from the mid-range starting point.

“The player accepted the charge and apologised to Duncan Weir post-match. However, he has one previous matter on record also for a dangerous tackle from Rugby World Cup 2019.”

In September Motu Matu’u was suspended for three weeks for a reckless tackle at the tournament. He was yellow-carded for a shoulder-led hit to the head of Russia captain Vasily Artemyev.

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“As such, the player was only entitled to a 25% decrease from the entry point by way mitigation, not least having regard to the proximity of the two offences. This results in his receiving a 1-week reduction from the entry point of 6 weeks.

“He will serve a suspension of 5 meaningful weeks until the 17 February which takes in to account two weekends when London Irish and the player have no matches.”

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