Bundee Aki banned for eight games and will miss Ireland’s Autumn International Tests against South Africa and Fiji | Rugby Union News

Aki was red carded for a dangerous clearance for Connacht in a ruck against Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday, and has now been heavily punished for the act.

Last update: 09/29/22 4:56 p.m.

Irish center Bundee Aki has been banned for eight games, including Ireland’s autumn games against South Africa and Fiji

Ireland and Connacht center Bundee Aki have been suspended for eight games after receiving the third red card of their career last weekend, meaning they will miss tests against South Africa and Fiji in November.

The midfielder is also expected to miss Ireland’s third and final autumn international on a provisional basis but will become available to play in that test if he completes a coaching intervention programme.

Aki was red carded for a dangerous clearance in a ruck against Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday, and has now been heavily punished for that act and for his behavior with officials immediately afterwards on the pitch.

His suspension is a blow for Connacht ahead of a tough run of fixtures, which includes two Irish provincial derbies against Munster and Leinster, but also for Ireland head coach Andy Farrell, with Aki having played an important role in the historic Test series of summer. victory against the All Blacks in New Zealand.

With Ireland facing two of the most physical teams in world rugby this autumn in South Africa and Fiji, we will particularly miss the power and tackling prowess of the centre.

A combination of his head contact during a clearance with Stormers winger Seabelo Senatla and his interactions with referee Gianluca Gnecchi saw Aki handed a 10-week entry suspension point.

This was reduced by four weeks due to mitigating factors including acceptance off the pitch, he committed a criminal act, expressions of remorse and an apology, but an additional two weeks were added as Aki had already received two cards. red for incidents involving contact with the head (2019 and 2021), as well as a previous suspension and warning regarding interactions with referees, bringing the full ban to eight weeks.

“The disciplinary process relating to the red card of Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby) in the BKT United Rugby Championship Round 2 match against DHL Stormers on Saturday 24 September 2022 has resulted in an eight week ban,” a statement read.

Aki is also a key player for Connacht Province and will be a major loss

Aki is also a key player for Connacht Province and will be a major loss

“After an act of foul play against DHL Stormers (Seabelo Senatla) player #11, referee Gianluca Gnecchi showed the player a red card in the 60th minute of the game under Law 9.20(a) – A player must not charge into a ruck or maul. Charging includes any contact made without binding to another player in the ruck or maul.

“In his responses to the bailiff overseeing the disciplinary process (Pamela Woodman, Scotland), the player acknowledged that he had committed an act of foul play which merited a red card.

“She determined that the player’s actions towards Seabelo Senatla were reckless and considered, among other things, the speed, force and high degree of danger in the player’s actions. Ms. Woodman determined that, had it been based on this conduct alone, the offense would have been rated as medium on the severity scale.

“However, Ms Woodman also considered the player’s actions and behavior towards the referee in relation to the issue of the red card, which she felt did not meet expected standards of conduct or respect. This also was taken into account (in accordance with URC Disciplinary Rules) in determining that the player’s misconduct was at the top of the gravity scale, which warranted a 10-week entry point sanction.

“The bailiff then considered whether there were any mitigating circumstances and concluded that the player’s acceptance that he had committed an act of foul play (during the off-court disciplinary proceedings), the expression of remorse, an apology to both the opposing player and the referee, and a willingness to discuss with his club’s coaching staff a plan to resolve this issue, were relevant mitigating factors, which warranted a reduction of the four-week penalty.

“The player’s previous suspensions for red cards in 2019 and 2021 for foul play involving head contact, as well as his suspension and warning for prior behavior related to interactions with referees, were considered aggravating factors, which which, according to the bailiff, justified two additional weeks of sanction.

“As a result, the player will be suspended for a period of eight weeks.

“If the player completes the coaches intervention program, the sanction will be reduced by one week.”

Bundee Aki is not available for:

Vodacom Bulls vs Connacht Rugby 30 September 2022, BKT URC

Connacht Rugby vs Munster 7 October 2022, BKT URC

Connacht Rugby vs Leinster 14 October 2022, BKT URC

Connacht Rugby vs Scarlets 21st October 2022, BKT URC

Ospreys vs Connacht Rugby 29 October 2022 BKT URC

Ireland vs South Africa 5 November 2022, Autumn Nations Series

Ireland vs Fiji 12 November 2022, Autumn Nations Series

Ireland vs Australia 19 November 2022 Autumn Nations Series (substituted if player successfully completes head contact process training intervention)

Sky Sports

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