Rugby: Red-carded French lock Vahaamahina suspended for six weeks after elbow on Wales' Wainwright

France's Sebastien Vahaamahina elbows Wales' Aaron Wainwright during their Rugby World Cup quarter-final match at the Oita Stadium in Japan on Oct 20, 2019.
France's Sebastien Vahaamahina elbows Wales' Aaron Wainwright during their Rugby World Cup quarter-final match at the Oita Stadium in Japan on Oct 20, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina, sent off in the World Cup quarter-final defeat by Wales, was suspended for six weeks on Thursday (Oct 24), a World Cup disciplinary commission said.

He returned to France under a cloud and announced his decision to retire from international rugby after he was red-carded for elbowing Welshman Aaron Wainwright in Sunday's match.

The case was heard on Thursday by an independent disciplinary commission in Tokyo with the player testifying by video conference from French rugby headquarters in Marcousis, France.

In a statement, the commission said a 10-week suspension was considered the starting point for the sanction against the French player but mitigating factors, notably his full admission of the foul play and prompt apology, reduced it to six.

In a statement, Top 14 club Clermont said the lock forward would be available to play again on Dec 21 against Toulon.

France had led 19-10 when Vahaamahina was sent off in the 49th minute. Down to 14 men, France went on to lose the game 20-19.

Capped 46 times, he announced his retirement from international rugby on Monday, his 28th birthday.

 

Wales face South Africa in Sunday's semi-final. The winner will meet either New Zealand or England, who meet on Saturday.