Highlanders centre Tanielu Tele'a suspended for three games

Tanielu Tele'a was red carded during Highlanders' game against Chiefs
Tanielu Tele'a was red carded during Highlanders' game against Chiefs

Highlanders centre Tanielu Tele'a has been suspended for three games following his red card incident in the recently concluded Super Rugby Pacific game against Chiefs last weekend.

The 25-year-old was sin-binned initially at the end of the opening half for using his shoulder to make contact with the head of Chiefs’ midfielder Quinn Tupaea but his sanction was later upgraded to a red card.

His absence proved decisive as Highlanders went on to lose the encounter 21-28. He won't be available to play for Highlanders until after 19th April.

“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the Player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card and found the Player to have contravened Law 9.20(a),” read a statement from FRPC Chairman Stephen Hardy.

“Applying the World Rugby Head Contact Process, the FPRC assessed the Player’s actions as including direct head contact with the shoulder, that was reckless, made at high speed, in dynamic play with the Player colliding with a high degree of force.

"There was no sudden or significant change in height or direction (or any other relevant mitigating factor set out within the Head Contact Process) to result in mitigation sufficient to downgrade the incident to a yellow card.”