Dangerous tackle earns Tongan five-week ban

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London Irish No 8 Chris Hala’Ufia has been banned for five weeks after he was sent off for a dangerous tackle on 
London Welsh player Seb Jewell.

Hala’Ufia, 34, was dismissed for the challenge just ten minutes into his side’s 15-9 Aviva Premiership defeat to London Welsh on 1 December.

The Tongan forward is banned until 7 January and will miss the Exiles’ home-and-away Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures against Gloucester, plus three Premiership matches.

Hala’Ufia was also ordered to pay £500 towards hearing costs.

England international Matt Banahan was last night handed a three-week ban when he appeared before Rugby Football Union disciplinary chiefs.

The Bath centre was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Leicester centre Anthony Allen during last Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash at Welford Road.

Banahan admitted the offence, and his suspension means he cannot play again until 24 December, ruling him out of home and away Amlin Challenge Cup ties against Italian club Calvisano, plus a Premiership appointment with Saracens three days before Christmas.

Leicester back-row forward Brett Deacon, who was dismissed for striking an opponent in the same game, was handed a one-week ban.

Deacon also received a one-week suspension following an internal hearing by his club.