Australia lock Darcy Swain has been banned for six weeks after his charge into the knee of Quinn Tupaea ruled the New Zealand centre out for nine months.
Swain, 25, drove his shoulder into Tupaea’s leg as the All-Black stood over a breakdown during Australia’s 39-37 loss in Melbourne on 15 September. Sanzaar decided the incident was “not intentional” but “highly reckless”.
Swain has been selected for an Australia A squad that will play three games against Japan in October.
He is now ineligible for those matches, this weekend’s rematch against New Zealand in the final round of the Rugby Championship and the Wallabies’ tour matches against Scotland and France on 29 October and 5 November, respectively.
Swain received a yellow card for the incident on the field before citing officials decided it was worthy of a red and sent it for review after the match.
“Darcy’s not happy with what he did, and he’s been punished,” said Australia coach Dave Rennie. “Six weeks is a hefty punishment, I reckon, and fitting.”
New Zealand was highly critical of Swain’s clear-out. All Blacks coach Ian Foster said his team had “a big issue” with it. Playmaker Beauden Barrett said Tupaea was “a sitting duck”.
“It was a bit of a free shot. We don’t like to see these sorts of injuries,” he added.