Gaby Lovobalavu receives four week ban
Date: 21 Feb 2018
The RFU has issued the following statement following Gaby Lovobalavu's disciplinary hearing tonight:
Gabiriele Lovobalavu of Wasps appeared before an independent disciplinary panel this evening.
He was cited by independent citing commissioner Nick Wood for a dangerous tackle on Exeter Chiefs' Sam Hill, contrary to law 9.13, in the second half of the Aviva Premiership match Wasps v Exeter Chiefs on Sunday 18 February 2018. This reflects Wasps upcoming playing schedule.
Lovobalavu contested the charge but was found guilty by the panel. He was given a four week suspension and is free to play again on 10 April 2018.
Panel chairman Jeremy Summers said: “The panel found that the player’s shoulder had struck the head of the Exeter player following a tackle that had been recklessly high and delivered with force.
“The panel are mandated to enter at mid-range and having given the player credit for his clean record and other mitigating factors, reduced the sanction by two weeks. He was not eligible for full credit having not accepted the charge.”
The panel comprised Jeremy Summers (chair) with Becky Essex and Michael Tutty.
In addition a case against Wasps regarding a breach of Anglo-Welsh Cup Regulation 6.7 was heard on papers by Aidan O’Brien as a single judicial officer with the club’s consent.
Wasps selected and played six loan players (versus the permitted three) during its round three Anglo-Welsh Cup fixture against London Irish, on 27 January 2018.
The club was given a fine of £2,500, suspended until the conclusion of the Anglo-Welsh season 2018/19.
Aidan O’Brien said: “The appeal chairman found that the breach was a consequence of an administrative oversight on the part of the club and that there was no intention by the club to gain an unfair advantage over the opposition in selecting a prohibited number of loan players.
"The electronic match card system did not flag up the club’s error during the registration process which was regrettable, however the club ultimately remains responsible for compliance with the regulations, which it at all times accepted.
“As Wasps have no further fixtures in this competition, the chairman determined that a financial penalty was the appropriate sanction in this case. The club was fined £500 for the first additional loan player and £1000 for each additional loan player thereafter (a total fine of £2,500).
“This fine is suspended until the end of the Anglo-Welsh season 18/19 and may be imposed should the club be found guilty of any similar offence in this competition within that time period."