Australia’s Hodge to miss rest of Rugby World Cup pool stage

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              Fiji’s Peceli Yato is tackled by Australia’s Reece Hodge (14) during the Rugby World Cup Pool D game at Sapporo Dome between Australia and Fiji in Sapporo, northern Japan, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)
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TOKYO (AP) — Winger Reece Hodge will miss Australia’s three remaining pool matches in the Rugby World Cup in Japan after he was suspended on Wednesday for a dangerous high tackle.

He won’t be available for the Wallabies’ remaining Pool D games against Wales, Uruguay, and Georgia. He can appeal.

Hodge was cited for a shoulder-led hit on the head of Fiji flanker Peceli Yato that saved a try in the first half of their match last Saturday in Sapporo.

“There was a high degree of danger,” the independent disciplinary committee said in a statement.

Yato had to leave the field with symptoms of concussion, and missed Fiji’s second pool game on Wednesday against Uruguay.

After a four-hour hearing in Tokyo, World Rugby said Hodge was found guilty of a reckless high tackle to the head that was worthy of a red card. Hodge was not sanctioned on the field at the time by New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe.

The committee considered a six-week sanction, the minimum in the laws, and reduced it to three after regarding Hodge’s disciplinary record, character, and conduct.

He will be available to play in the knockout rounds.