Tonga's George Moala has his appeal dismissed

Tonga midfielder George Moala will miss three of his country’s Rugby World Cup pool matches after having his appeal against his recent five-match ban dismissed.

It was August 15 when the 32-year-old former All Blacks player was originally suspended by an independent disciplinary committee chaired by Stephen Hardy (Australia) and joined by former player Stefan Terblanche (South Africa) and former international referee Valeriu Toma (Romania).

They decided that the red card Moala was given for his August 10 tip tackle versus Canada warranted a 10-match mid-range entry point.

After applying 50 per cent mitigation, the suspension was reduced to five matches, but the Tongan Rugby World Cup pick decided on August 21 to appeal the sanction.

That appeal hearing has now been heard and the original five-match ban will stay in place. A statement read: “Tonga centre George Moala’s appeal against the decision of a judicial committee to suspend him for five matches arising from an act of foul play contrary to law 9.18 (lifting tackle) in Tonga’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Canada on August 10 was heard remotely on August 24.

“The independent appeal committee was chaired by Christopher Quinlan KC (independent judicial panel chairman), Brenda Heather-Latu (Samoa) and Judge Mike Mika (New Zealand).

“The appeal committee dismissed the player’s appeal against the entry point of the offending. Having considered the evidence before it, the appeal committee found that the judicial committee which heard the case at first instance was entitled to find that the tackle warranted a mid-range entry point and accordingly upheld the decision of the disciplinary committee.

“As Moala has been selected in the Tonga Rugby World Cup 2023 squad, the suspension remains as imposed by the judicial committee and therefore the player will miss the following matches:

1. Tonga vs Canada, August 15 (World Cup warm-up)
2. Clermont vs Perpignan, August 26 (Top 14)
3. Tonga vs Ireland, September 16 (World Cup)
4. Tonga vs Scotland, September 24 (World Cup)
5. Tonga vs South Africa, October 1 (World Cup).”