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Samoa centre Lee-lo gets three-game World Cup ban for high tackle

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(Reuters) – Samoa centre Rey Lee-lo has been suspended for their next three matches at the Rugby World Cup for making a reckless high tackle in Tuesday’s 34-9 victory over Russia, an independent judicial committee said on Thursday.

Both Lee-lo and hooker Motu Matu’u were given yellow cards by referee Romain Poite after the television match official reviewed their tackles on Russia captain Vasily Artemyev within two minutes of each other. [nL3N26G1N6]

Tournament organisers confirmed the two were cited for acts of foul play and the committee deemed Lee-lo’s tackle dangerous and worthy of a red card instead of a yellow.

“The committee… applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point, which was introduced in 2017 to mitigate the risk of head injuries, carrying a minimum six-match suspension,” the committee said in a statement.

“Having acknowledged Lee-lo’s disciplinary record, good character and conduct at the hearing, the committee reduced the six-match entry point by three matches, resulting in a sanction of three matches.”

Lee-lo will miss Samoa’s pool games against Scotland, Japan and Ireland. The 32-year-old has 48 hours to appeal the decision.

Matu’u‘s hearing was also scheduled for Thursday but the committee is yet to issue a final ruling on his citation.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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