LONDON – Australian prop Sekope Kepu has been handed a three-week suspension on Tuesday for a flying shoulder charge on Scotland’s Hamish Watson during the Wallabies’ record 53-24 mauling at Murrayfield.
Kepu was shown a red card after his badly mistimed challenge ended with Watson being struck in the side of the head during Saturday’s match.
Scotland went on to record their biggest victory against the Wallabies in 90 years, with Australia coach Michael Cheika admitting the referee had little choice but to dismiss Kepu for his over-the-top-tackle.
The ban will be held over until the start of next year as Australia are not scheduled to play again until then.
The 31-year-old appeared before an independent World Rugby-appointed disciplinary committee on Tuesday.
Kepu, the committee said, had accepted the tackle warranted a red card.
Following his contrition and in light of his previously clean disciplinary record, the disciplinary committee decided to allow the “maximum discount of 50 percent and reduced the length of the suspension to three weeks”.
However, with the southern hemisphere about to enter its off-season, the committee ruled to suspend Kepu until midnight on March 4, 2018. The player has the right of appeal.