Wallabies lock Darcy Swain handed lengthy ban for dangerous clean out on Tupaea
Tupaea suffered a ruptured medial cruciate ligament (MCL) and a partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear in his left knee after Swain entered a ruck and made firm contact with the All Black’s outstretched left leg.
Swain, who received a yellow card at the time, was cited after the match at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium last week.
The ban imposed by a SANZAAR Judicial Committee hearing will extend to 6 November ruling Swain out of Saturday’s return, and the tour matches against Scotland at Murrayfield on October 30 and France in Paris on 6 November.
He will also miss next month’s Australia A tour of Japan, the squad for which he was controversially named in this week in what some felt was a ploy to ‘use up’ his suspension. By making the ban time-, rather than match-related, that issue has been negated.
Swain was found guilty of contravening Law 9.11 – ” Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others”
In its findings, the Judicial Committee chair, Andre Oosthuizen SC ruled the following:
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, having heard from the player and from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Judicial Committee upheld the Citing and deemed the incident meet the red card threshold for Law 9.11.”
“With respect to sanction the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six (6) weeks. Through the actions by the player such as position, control, and player movements they found the incident was not intentional, however, it was highly reckless.”
After the test All Blacks coach Ian Foster said: “We’ve got a player who’s probably out for nine months and you’re not allowed to target legs on the side at cleanout past the ball. The rules are pretty clear.”
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie was of a different opinion.
“I’m not convinced about Darcy’s [yellow card],” Rennie said. “It was certainly nothing intentional. Ironically, he got neck-rolled prior to him cleaning out, but that wasn’t picked up.”
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