Leinster’s Michael Ala’alatoa will miss Samoa’s first pair of World Cup warm-ups after he was banned for three weeks for his costly red-card offense in Saturday’s Champions Cup final.
However, the prop will be able to play against Ireland in the final warm-up for Andy Farrell’s team against Samoa in Bayonne on August 26.
Ala’alatoa was sent off by referee Jaco Peyper in the 78th minute at the Aviva Stadium for charging a ruck in a dangerous manner and for making contact with La Rochelle replacement prop Georges-Henri Colombe’s head box in contravention of the Law. 9.20(a).
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The attack effectively ended Leinster’s hopes of victory, handing La Rochelle a penalty near their own try line, after Ronan O’Gara’s side had taken the lead for the first time in the match five minutes into the game. before.
It also left Leinster down to 13 men as Rónan Kelleher was in the sin bin for the remainder of the one point loss to the reigning champions.
An independent three-man disciplinary committee studied video footage of the incident and heard evidence from Ala’alatoa, who accepted the red card decision.
The committee also heard presentations from the player’s legal representative, Derek Hegarty, Leinster Rugby’s Head of Rugby Operations, Guy Easterby, as well as EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
The committee upheld the red card decision, finding that Ala’alatoa had charged into the ruck and also made dangerous contact with Colombe’s head.
It then determined that the offense was in the mid-range of World Rugby penalties and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
As the player has a clear disciplinary history and due to his acceptance of the red card, it was decided to give him 50% of the full mitigation and therefore the committee reduced the sanction by three weeks before imposing a three week suspension. .
Ala’alatoa is suspended for Samoa’s matches against Japan on July 22, against Fiji on July 29 and against Tonga on August 5. However, he is expected to apply for and successfully complete a World Rugby coaching intervention and therefore he should be free to play on Monday 31 July.
Both Ala’alatoa and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.
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