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Rugby – All Blacks winger Clarke banned for three weeks after red card

© Reuters.

SYDNEY (Reuters) – All Blacks and Auckland Blues winger Caleb Clarke has been banned for three Super Rugby matches after being shown a red card for a reckless challenge during a match against Moana Pasifika last week.

Clarke, who was one of five players sent off in six round seven matches last week, made contact with the head of Moana winger Tomasi Alosio in an aerial challenge during the match at Eden Park.

A SANZAAR Judicial Hearing determined that Clarke had contravened the law forbidding reckless or dangerous play and suspended him from the competition until the end of round 10.

World Rugby has been on a mission to remove head contact from the game over the last few years because of the potential for concussion, which can have a long-term impact on player health.

All five players dismissed last week were handed bans of three weeks or more.

Blues and All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala got a three-week ban for a dangerous cleanout in the first match in a round seven double-header against Moana last Tuesday.

Canterbury Crusaders hooker Shilo Klein got three weeks for a high tackle on Otago Highlanders prop Ethan de Groot, while Fijian Drua captain Nemani Nagusa was banned for four weeks for a tackle that was both high and late.

Queensland Reds forward Tuaina Tualima got a three-week ban for a dangerous clearout on ACT Brumbies prop James Slipper.

New Zealand’s referees chief Bryce Lawrence said on Wednesday he thought the rash of red cards last week was a “one-off” and the average over the season was likely to be no higher than in previous years.

Rugby – All Blacks winger Clarke banned for three weeks after red card

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