Super Rugby: Red card controversy - Highlanders centre Sio Tomkinson free to play despite send-off

Sio Tomkinson was sent off against the Chiefs.
Sio Tomkinson was sent off against the Chiefs. Photo credit: Getty

Sio Tomkinson will face no further punishment, after a Sanzaar judicial panel rescinded the red card issued last week against the Chiefs.

The centre was controversially sent off in the opening round of Super Rugby, after he collided with Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick.

Referee Glen Jackson deemed the incident to be a no-arms tackle and gave Tomkinson his marching orders.

But the judicial committee ruled the former Chiefs first-five eighth was "wrong in issuing the red card", after reviewing all the available evidence.

"The judicial committee found that the player made contact with his shoulder to the shoulder of the Chiefs player," committee chairman Michael Heron QC said in a statement.

"On careful review of the footage and on receiving further evidence as above, the committee determined that the player did not make contact with the head of the Chiefs player and he did attempt to use his arm in the attempted tackle.

"Due to the rapid change in angle from the Chiefs player and the tackle of the other Highlanders player involved, the incident appeared to be more significant that it was."

Although he is now free to play for the Highlanders, coach Aaron Mauger hasn't named Tomkinson in the squad to face the Reds in Dunedin on Friday night.


Join us at 7:30pm Friday for live updates of the Highlanders vs Reds Super Rugby clash at Dunedin.