Wallaby centre Kuridrani banned for five weeks

Australia centre Tevita Kuridrani has been slapped with a five-week ban from playing rugby by the International Rugby Board for a tip tackle and will miss the Wallabies’ remaining Tests against Scotland and Wales.

Kuridrani was sent off for a dangerous ‘tip’ tackle on Ireland forward Peter O’Mahony during the Wallabies’ 32-15 win in Dublin last Saturday.

His absence means Australia will now be deprived of at least six players for Saturday’s match against Scotland at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield after Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie unilaterally imposed a one-match ban on wingers Adam Ashley Cooper and Nick Cummins, back-row Liam Gill and front-rowers Tatafu Polota-Nau,and Benn Robinson for excessive drinking into the early hours of last Wednesday morning in Dublin.

Australia midfielder Kuridrani appeared before IRB judicial officer Professor Lorne Crerar in London on Tuesday.

Representations were made by Kuridrani and on the 22-year-old’s behalf.

But Crerar, having studied video footage of the incident, upheld the red card issued by New Zealand referee Chris Pollock seven minutes from time at Dublin’s Lansdowne Road.

Crerar decided Kuridrani’s offence should be classed as a ‘mid-range’ offence warranting an eight-week ban and then added a further week as a deterrent.

But he then deducted four weeks to reflect the eight-times capped Kuridrani’s previously good disciplinary record and other mitigating factors to leave the player with a five-week suspension.

Kuridrani’s future playing schedule was also taken into account and his ban will expire on February 16.

The player has the right of appeal.

Prop Paddy Ryan was also given a one-match ban by McKenzie on Monday for drinking too much alcohol in Dublin by McKenzie but will serve his suspension for the tour finale against Wales at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on November 30.

With only five props chosen in Australia’s 32-man touring squad, one of either Robinson or Ryan is required to participate against Scotland and Wales.

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