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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019
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Connacht bound Fijian centre receives nine-week ban for eye-gouging

Eroni Vasiteri will be out of action for the next two months.

Image: Connacht Rugby/Twitter

CONNACHT’S NEW FIJIAN centre Eroni Vasiteri has been handed a nine-week suspension for eye-gouging an opponent during a National Rugby Championship game in Australia last week.

The incident occurred during Fijian Drua’s clash with the Canberra Vikings and Vasiteri, signed by Connacht last month on a one-year deal, was found guilty of making contact with Folau Faingaa’s eye by a disciplinary panel.

The 28-year-old’s punishment was reduced from 12 weeks because of a previously clean disciplinary record, but he will now be sidelined until 3 December.

Vasiteri was due to join up with Connacht once the regular NRC season finished on 29 October but news of his suspension will come as a huge disappointment to Kieran Keane who had recruited the inside centre to bolster his midfield resources.

Meanwhile, the western province have been dealt another injury blow with confirmation that flanker Jake Heenan will be sidelined until December with the knee injury he sustained against Scarlets.

Steve Crosbie is also anxiously awaiting the results of a scan on his ankle while Tiernan O’Halloran will be monitored by Connacht’s coaching staff after pulling up with a hip injury in the defeat to Ulster last weekend.

Connacht open their Challenge Cup campaign on Saturday night when they travel to France to face Top 14 side Oyonnax.

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Ryan Bailey

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