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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

Wallaby hooker Latu given four-game ban for drink-driving

The Waratahs suspended the 26-year-old for two games after the incident, so the fourth match of his punishment will be played this weekend.

Latu leaves court in Sydney last week.
Latu leaves court in Sydney last week.
Image: AAP/PA Images

WALLABIES HOOKER TOLU Latu was given a four-match ban by Rugby Australia today, three of which have been already served, after his license was suspended for six months last week for drink-driving.

The 26-year-old was found asleep at the wheel in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in May, with members of the public reportedly having to break into his car to stop it rolling into an intersection.

Immediately after the incident, Latu was suspended for two games by the NSW Waratahs and excluded from a Wallabies training camp.

Rugby Australia’s integrity unit said he would also be served with a mid-level breach notice, which includes a four-match suspension and an Aus$5,000 (€3,068) fine.

The four-match ban takes in the earlier two-match suspension and his court appearance on Friday, which coincided with the Waratahs’ match against the Highlanders.

The new punishment means Latu will miss Sydney University’s Shute Shield clash with Eastwood this weekend. So he could feature in Australia’s Rugby Championship campaign as they build towards the World Cup.

Johnny Sexton with Tolu Latu Latu moves in to tackle Jonathan Sexton last year. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“Other factors were considered in arriving at the sanction, including Latu’s personal circumstances leading up to the event as well as his failure to disclose the incident to his employers before it became public via the media,” Rugby Australia added in a statement.

Last month Latu, who has played 12 Tests for the Wallabies, apologised, saying in his statement:

“I’m disappointed with my actions because I recognise the seriousness of this situation. 

“I want to apologise to my teammates and New South Wales Rugby Union. I also want to apologise to the rugby community. I know that my actions do not reflect well on the game.

“I take full responsibility for what has happened and I will accept any potential sanctions from my court case. I also recognise I should have spoken to the coach earlier. I will accept the support from the NSW Waratahs, RUPA and my own support networks to ensure that I don’t find myself in this position again.”

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