Kepu banned till March
DISCIPLINARY NEWS: Ater a rollercoaster season in the Australian season to top it all off, prop Sekope Kepu has been given a three-week ban.
This follows an incident in the Wallabies' historic 24-53 defeat to Scotland last weekend.
Kepu appeared before an independent World Rugby-appointed Disciplinary Committee following his red card for after the shoulder-charge into the head of Scotland flank Hamish Watson on Saturday, 25 November 2017.
The prop became the fifth Wallaby in history, dating back to 1899, to be shown a red card in a Test.
The player has been charge for an infringement of law 10.4(h) 'a player must not charge into a ruck or maul. Charging includes any contact made without use of the arms, or without grasping a player'. Kepu accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and that it had warranted a red card.
The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Jean-Noel Couraud (France), along with former international players, Becky Essex (England) and De Wet Barry (South Africa), considered all of the available evidence and heard submissions from Kepu and his representatives.
The committee considered the relevant incident to have been a dangerous shoulder charge into a ruck in which contact was made with an opponent's head. In considering sanction, the committee assessed the seriousness of Kepu's conduct and concluded that it had been in the mid-range of World Rugby's scale of seriousness for that type of offending, which has an entry point sanction of a six-week suspension.
The panel considered that there were no aggravating factors and that there were several mitigating factors, including Kepu's 'guilty' plea and his previous clean disciplinary record. The Disciplinary Committee allowed the maximum discount of 50 percent and reduced the length of the suspension to three weeks.
Taking account of Kepu's playing schedule and in particular that the Southern Hemisphere close season is about to start, the Disciplinary Committee suspended Kepu until March 4, 2018.
This means the Waratahs prop will miss the Super Rugby matches against Stormers (February 24) and Sharks (March 3).