TOKYO — Winger Reece Hodge will miss Australia’s three remaining pool matches in the Rugby World Cup in Japan after he was suspended on Wednesday for a dangerous high tackle.
He won’t be available for the Wallabies’ remaining Pool D games against Wales, Uruguay, and Georgia. He can appeal.
Hodge was cited for a shoulder-led hit on the head of Fiji flanker Peceli Yato that saved a try in the first half of their match last Saturday in Sapporo.
“There was a high degree of danger,” the independent disciplinary committee said in a statement.
Yato had to leave the field with symptoms of concussion, and missed Fiji’s second pool game on Wednesday against Uruguay.
After a four-hour hearing in Tokyo, World Rugby said Hodge was found guilty of a reckless high tackle to the head that was worthy of a red card. Hodge was not sanctioned on the field at the time by New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe.
The committee considered a six-week sanction, the minimum in the laws, and reduced it to three after regarding Hodge’s disciplinary record, character, and conduct.
He will be available to play in the knockout rounds.
World Rugby has postponed July test matches involving southern and northern hemisphere nations because of ongoing restrictions on international travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
The sport’s international governing body issued a statement Friday saying the mid-year test window will be rescheduled when cross-border travel and quarantine regulations are relaxed.
New Zealand had been scheduled to play Wales and Scotland, Australia was set to play Ireland and Fiji and South Africa had planned to host Scotland and Georgia. World Rugby said the postponement is due “to ongoing government and health agency COVID-19 directives.”
Former England captain Bill Beaumont has been re-elected as World Rugby chairman on Saturday after beating Agustín Pichot, the current vice-chairman.
The sport’s governing body says the 68-year-old Beaumont achieved a first-round majority of 28 votes to 23.
Beaumont says: “I am honored to accept the mandate of the World Rugby Council to serve as the international federation’s chairman once again.”
He begins his four-year term after a council meeting on May 12.
French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte becomes Beaumont’s new vice-chairman.