TOULOUSE PAIR JEROME Kaino and Lucas Pointud have both been handed suspensions ahead of their side’s Heineken Champions Cup match against Leinster this weekend.
The players were brought before a disciplinary hearing in Paris on Wednesday, with Kaino receiving a five-week ban, while Pointud has been suspended for four weeks following incidents during their Round 1 meeting with Bath.
Kaino was cited following a hefty challenge on Jamie Roberts, which earned the former All Blacks star a yellow card and and a sin-bin from match referee Andrew Brace.
But the citing commissioner Eugene Ryan deemed that he should also face a striking charge, a complaint which has been upheld by an independent Disciplinary Committee, who determined that Kaino had committed an act of foul play warranting a red card.
“On the basis that the incident involved contact to the head,” a statement reads, “the Committee was obliged under World Rugby regulations to find that the offence was at least at the mid-range of the sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
“In the absence of a guilty plea, but in consideration of the player’s good conduct at the hearing, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by one week before imposing a five-week suspension.”
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Meanwhile, Pointud was alleged to have struck Bath’s Nathan Catt with his head in the second half of Saturday’s game, an offence which carries an entry point of six weeks at the low end. The Committee also upheld this charge and imposed a four-week ban.
“Despite the fact that there were some mitigating factors, the absence of a guilty plea meant that the Committee could not reduce the sanction by the maximum allowed of 50% and a four-week suspension was imposed.”
Kaino is free to play again on Monday, 3 December, while Pointud is free to play on Monday, 26 November, and both players have the right to appeal the decision.
Leinster will travel to take on Toulouse in their Champions Cup meeting this Sunday (kick-off, 3.15pm).
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