Moala fails appeal, will miss Tonga’s first three RWC games


Tonga star George Moala failed in his appeal to reduce his five-match suspension and will miss their first three Rugby World Cup pool games in France.

Moala committed a tip tackle on Canada’s Ben LeSage in a home Test on August 10 in Nuku’alofa.

Moala, a former All Black, was sent off.

The judiciary started with a mid-range sanction of 10 games and reduced it by half. Moala was still picked in Tonga’s World Cup squad.

His appeal against the mid-range entry point for the sanction was dismissed. The appeal panel said the judicial committee “was entitled” to start there, so the suspension was upheld.

The World Cup games covered by his five-match ban were against Ireland, Scotland and South Africa.

The first time he would be available for Tonga would be for their last pool game against Romania on October 8 in Lille.

It’s the latest decision in a busy week for the judicial system with England players Billy Vunipola and Owen Farrell also copping bans for dangerous contact in previous games.

Vunipola was given a three-week suspension for his tackled against Ireland’s Andrew Porter while Farrell will miss England’s first two World Cup games after a separate investigation into his dangerous tackle against Wales, initially given a yellow card before it was upgraded to a red, produced a ban.

Farrell was initially let off by an independent judicial committee – a decision that produced surprise and dismay in the rugby community – before it was reviewed by World Rugby and led to an appeal, resulting in his suspension.

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