Rugby World Cup: Former All Black Vaea Fifita's tournament over after suspension for Tonga

  • 27/09/2023
Vaea Fifita.
Vaea Fifita. Photo credit: Getty Images

Tonga's Ex-All Black flanker Vaea Fifita has copped a four-game ban for a dangerous tackle, effectively ending his World Cup.

Fifita's shoulder made contact with halfback Finn Russell's head during his team's 45-17 loss to Scotland on Monday (NZ time).

The 11-test All Black was initially shown a yellow card, which was upgraded to red upon bunker review.

At his judicial hearing on Tuesday, Fifita admitted to foul play but challenged the red card.

The panel said it was always illegal and there was no mitigation. The charge was reckless with a high degree of danger, the panel added.

It started the sanction at six matches and removed two for Fifita's remorse and disciplinary record.

The suspension rules him out of Tonga's final two pool games against South Africa on Monday and Romania on October 9.

The former Hurricanes forward played his final test for the All Blacks in 2019, before switching his alllegiance to Tonga last year. He currently plays for Welsh side Scarlets.

Drawn in the stacked Pool B, Tonga have struggled so far in France, falling to heavy defeats against Ireland and Scotland.