Fiji prop banned for 10 weeks

Fiji prop Manasa Saulo has been suspended for 10 weeks after admitting an act of foul play contrary to Law 10.4(b) (stamping).

Following a review of video footage, Saulo was cited by Independent Citing Commissioner Bruce Kuklinski (Canada) under Law 10.4(b) for stamping the head of Wales lock Luke Charteris in the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A match between the two sides in Cardiff on 1 October.

Saulo was suspended by Independent Judicial Officer Adam Casselden (Australia) in accordance with the Rugby World Cup 2015 disciplinary process.

Having conducted a detailed review of all the evidence available, including all video footage and additional evidence from the player and submissions from his legal representative Chris Smith of Lewis Silkin, the Judicial Officer upheld the citing under Law 10.4(b).

With respect to the sanction, the offence was deemed to be the top end which has an entry point of at least nine weeks. The Judicial Officer determined that this case warranted an entry point of 16 weeks. 

However, taking into account mitigating factors including his early admission, disciplinary record, good character and remorse and the absence of any off-field aggravating factors, the player was suspended for a period of 10 weeks.

In the context of the Rugby World Cup a week equates to one match. The suspension takes effect immediately. therefore Saulo is suspended for Fiji’s last Rugby World Cup 2015 match against Uruguay scheduled to be played on Tuesday, 6 October and thereafter the suspension will run up to and include 16 January, 2016. He is free to resume playing on 17 January, 2016. 

The player’s suspension is subject to confirmation of his club’s domestic and European playing schedule for the coming season.

The player has 48 hours in which to appeal from the time he receives the full decision. The full judgment will be available within the next 24 hours.