The Scarlets have been left without one of their key players Kieron Fonotia after he was punished for striking George North’s head with his forearm in a PRO14 game against the Ospreys at Parc y Scarlets last weekend.
The Samoan centre faced a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday via video conference and the Disciplinary Committee
“concluded that the player had committed an act of foul play”.
It was deemed that the offence “merited a mandatory mid-range entry point of six weeks”, however Fonotia had this reduced to three weeks because of his “previously clean disciplinary record, his admission that his actions warranted a red card and the co-operation of both the player and his club throughout the process.”
It means that Fonotia will miss the Scarlets’ Champions Cup opener against Racing 92 on Saturday, their away game at Leicester Tigers a week later in the same competition and a PRO14 match against the Southern Kings.
Head coach Wayne Pivac had stressed before hearing that the incident was “not intentional”.
“It was just a reactionary thing. Gareth Davies was about to go over the sideline halfway and thrown the ball over his head. Kieron has caught the ball and George North has reacted. Kieron has seen him coming and gone out to fend him and caught him with a forearm.
“We have had a good look at it and… it was an instinctive reaction to fend a player away. It was 6ft 4in and 110kg coming towards him.
Fonotia is available from October 28, with the next match after that away against Edinburgh on November 2nd in Murrayfield. He is able to appeal the decision.
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