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Wallaby hooker suspended for swearing at Wayne Barnes

BY Stephen Brunsdon  ·  Thursday Jan 27, 2022

Stade Français hooker Tolu Latu has been handed a one-week suspension following his sending off during last weekend’s European Champions Cup encounter against Connacht.

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Latu was dismissed for a second yellow card offence after directing abusive language towards referee Wayne Barnes in the 46th minute of the match in Paris.

Stade Français went on to produce a sensational comeback to steal an unlikely 37-31 victory as the Irish side again capitulated in the second half.

The sending off was deemed by the Independent Disciplinary Committee to be a low-end offence, with Latu copping a seven-day ban after the entry-level punishment was reduced by 50%.

According to World Rugby’s Law 9.28, “a player must not disrespect the authority of a match official” which Latu was found to have done.

The Committee’s decision read: “The independent Disciplinary Committee comprising John Carroll (Ireland), Chair, Mitchell Read (England) and Olly Kohn (Wales) considered video imagery of the incidents and heard evidence and submissions from the player, who accepted the red card decision, from the Stade Francais Paris Director General, Thomas Lombard, from the Stade Francais Paris Head Coach, Gonzalo Quesada, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

“The committee upheld the red decision, finding that on each occasion Latu had committed an act of foul play that warranted a yellow card. It then determined that the offending was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and two weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

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“As there were no aggravating factors, it was decided to grant the full 50% mitigation and the committee reduced the sanction by one week before imposing a one-week suspension.

“Latu is free to play next Monday (31 January) and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.”

Latu is not the only player to have felt the wrath of Wayne Barnes over the years, with former England captain Dylan Hartley the most famous case of receiving a red card for using bad language in front of the English referee.

Here are some of Barnes’ most iconic moments during his career.

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