TOKYO – Australia winger Reece Hodge will miss three World Cup matches after being found guilty of a dangerous tackle on Fiji's Peceli Yato at a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.
Hodge's no-arms tackle caught the Fijian flanker in the head in the 26th minute of the Pool D opener in Sapporo on Saturday but the Wallabies back was cleared of an offence by the matchday officials.
He was cited on Sunday and will now miss Australia's crunch clash with Six Nations champions Wales on Sunday as well as the matches against Uruguay on Oct. 5 and Georgia on Oct. 11.
World Rugby said in a statement that the committee had determined that Hodge should have been shown a red card but the punishment was halved from six weeks because of his "exemplary disciplinary record, good character and conduct at the hearing".
Hodge, who may appeal the decision within 48 hours, will be free to play again in the knockout stages of the tournament should Australia progress.