Kuridrani ruled out of Super Rugby AU playoff by three-match ban

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani was banned for three matches for a dangerous tackle on Tuesday, ruling him out of Western Force's Super Rugby AU playoff against the ACT Brumbies this weekend, as well as the final if his team make it. Kuridrani was shown a yellow card for a tip tackle on Hunter Paisami in the opening minute of the 30-27 victory over the Queensland Reds last Friday that earned the Force a first playoff berth in the franchise's 16-year history.

The 61-test former Brumbies back pleaded guilty to the charge which, along with his previous good disciplinary record, earned him a reduced sanction.

The ban, which also rules Kuridrani out of the Force's opening match of the Super Rugby Trans Tasman competition against the Waikato Chiefs on May 15, might be extended if the Force fail to reach the final, governing body SANZAAR said.

Fiji-born Kuridrani was a fixture at outside centre for the Wallabies for six years until the end of the 2019 World Cup with Paisami among those who replaced him for last season.

The 30-year-old started all eight Force matches this season but coach Tim Sampson has an experienced option to replace him for Saturday's match in Canberra in the shape of former All Black Richard Kahui.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)