Munster centre Sam Tuitupou has been hit with a three-week suspension, following Wednesday’s ERC disciplinary hearing in Dublin
Sam Tuitupou appeared at ERC headquarters in Dublin for the hearing, as a result of a citing complaint arising from Munster’s Heineken Cup Pool 3 opener against London Irish last Saturday.
Tuitupou was accompanied by Munster team manager Shaun Payne and media manager Pat Geraghty. He was represented at the hearing by Donal Spring.
The citing complaint was for a dangerous tackle in contravention of law 10.4 (j), which is specifically concerned with lifting a player and dropping or driving him into the ground.
In particular, Tuitupou was alleged to have committed a dangerous tackle of that type on London Irish scrum half Paul Hodgson. He pleaded not guilty to the citing complaint.
After considering the evidence and hearing submissions on behalf of Tuitupou and from Roger O’Connor, ERC’s disciplinary officer, the independent judicial officer, Simon Thomas from Wales, determined that the player had committed the act of foul play and imposed a suspension of three weeks.
Tuitupou will be free to play again on November 1, meaning he will miss Munster’s second Heineken Cup pool game against Toulon this weekend and two Magners League matches against Benetton Treviso and Ulster.
The New Zealander’s suspension comes as a double whammy for Munster, with another of their midfield contingent, Lifeimi Mafi, currently serving a seven-week ban.
Munster must wait until they have received the written judgement before they can consider an appeal of Tuitupou’s ban.