The Latest: Panel rejects Matu’u appeal against 3-game ban

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              England rugby team player Billy Vunipola, center, walks as they train at the Kobe Misaki Stadium during the Rugby World Cup in Kobe, western Japan on Wednesday Sept. 25, 2019. England will play against USA tomorrow in their Pool C game. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
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TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 12 at the Rugby World Cup (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Samoa hooker Motu Matu’u has had his appeal against a three-game suspension rejected.

Matu’u was yellow-carded during Samoa’s opening win over Russia for a high tackle and was cited after the game. He was subsequently banned from Samoa’s last two pool games and a quarterfinal.

The disciplinary committee ruled that Matu’u could not have been considered for Samoa’s second group game against Scotland because of injury, which is why the ban extended to the quarterfinals if his team qualified for the knockout stage, or to Oct. 27 otherwise.

An appeals panel upheld the disciplinary committee’s decision that tackle met the requirements for a red card, and that the suspension beyond the group stage was reasonable given that Matu’u was already deemed unavailable for one of the pool games.

Samoan Rey Lee-Lo was banned for three games after receiving a yellow card for a dangerous tackle in the same game. Australia winger Reece Hodge, U.S. flanker John Quill and Uruguay hooker Facundo Gattas also have received three-game suspensions after being cited for high or dangerous tackles.