October 24, 2019 / 4:00 PM / 24 days ago

France's Vahaamahina handed six-week ban for World Cup red card

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Quarter Final - Wales v France - Oita Stadium, Oita, Japan - October 20, 2019 France's Sebastien Vahaamahina leaves the pitch after being shown a red card by a referee Jaco Peyer REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina has been suspended for six weeks for his red card in their World Cup quarter-final defeat by Wales last week, World Rugby said on Thursday.

France were leading 19-10 in Oita, Japan when Vahaamahina elbowed Wales forward Aaron Wainwright in the face and was sent off. The French were reduced to 14 men and went on to lose the match 20-19.

Vahaamahina admitted to the act of foul play, accepting that the offence warranted a red card.

“Vahaamahina will miss his next six matches with his club Clermont Auvergne,” World Rugby said in a statement. “Therefore the player is free to play again on Dec. 16, 2019.”

Although the entry point for punishment was 10 weeks, the committee reduced it by four weeks after Vahaamahina acknowledged his conduct and apologised to Wainwright.

The 28-year-old Vahaamahina announced his international retirement after France were knocked out of the World Cup.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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