Northampton Saints lock Api Ratuniyarawa has been given a four-week suspension from playing by an independent disciplinary panel, and will miss the Club's matches against Bristol Bears, Exeter Chiefs, Saracens and Worcester Warriors.
The 33-year-old appeared before the panel last night, after he was shown a red card by referee Tom Foley in the 49th minute of the match between Saints and London Irish on Friday. This was for dangerous play in a ruck or maul, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.20.
The player was given a four week suspension by the independent panel comprising Charles Cuthbert (chair) with Mitch Read and Leon Loyd. He is free to play again on Tuesday 10 March 2020.
Independent panel chair Charles Cuthbert said: “The player did not accept that he had committed an act of foul play by dangerously charging in to the ruck. He argued that he had bound on to the London Irish player. This was not accepted by the panel after reviewing the footage.
“The panel found it was a reckless action. While the panel were satisfied that there was no intent to cause injury, his shoulder did make contact to the face of the London Irish player who confirmed he suffered no injury as a result. The mandatory mid-range entry point applies where there is contact with the head and the panel found no factors to merit a top-end entry point.
“The player was allowed mitigation for his clear disciplinary record over a long professional career at a high level. He apologised both and off-field to the London Irish player involved and his own team, and is engaged in community activities and coaching. He was allowed two weeks in mitigation and is therefore suspended for four weeks.”