France prop Uini Atonio suspended for three games

Uini Atonio was sin-binned during France's game against Ireland
Uini Atonio was sin-binned during France's game against Ireland

France prop Uini Atonio has been handed a three-game suspension following his yellow card incident during the recently concluded Six Nations game against Ireland in Dublin.

The 32-year-old was yellow-carded by referee Wayne Barnes for a dangerous tackle on Rob Herring with the Ireland hooker forced to leave the field due to a head injury.

He was cited by the citing commissioner for an act of foul play which is a breach of Law 9.13 that deals with "A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously".

Antonio faced an independent judicial committee consisting of judge Mike Mika – chair (New Zealand), Leon Lloyd (England) and Stefan Terblanche (South Africa) on Wednesday with the panel deeming his act warranted a red card.

“The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee accepted the player’s admission that the tackle on Ireland No. 2 was foul play.

“His shoulder made contact with Ireland No. 2’s neck/face as described in the citing commissioner’s report and therefore reached the red card threshold.

“On that basis, the committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.

“Having acknowledged there were no aggravating factors and mitigating factors including the player’s immediate admission of guilt, his exemplary disciplinary record and genuine remorse, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks"

He will now miss Six Nations games for Ireland against Scotland, England and Wales matches. However, he could be available to take on Wales on 18th March if he successfully completes a coaching intervention programme.

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