DUBLIN (AP) — Tonga center George Moala failed in his appeal to reduce his five-match suspension on Thursday and will miss their first three Rugby World Cup pool games in France.
Moala committed a tip tackle on Canada's Ben LeSage in a home test on Aug. 10 in Nuku'alofa. Moala, a former All Black, was sent off.
The judiciary started with a mid-range sanction of 10 games and reduced it by half. Moala was still picked in Tonga's World Cup squad.
His appeal against the mid-range entry point for the sanction was dismissed. The appeal panel said the judicial committee “was entitled” to start there, so the suspension was upheld.
The first time he would be available for Tonga would be for their last pool game against Romania on Oct. 8 in Lille.
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