Leitch gets three-match ban, but is cleared for World Cup

Michael Leitch, who received a red card in Japan’s 24-22 Pacific Nations Cup loss to Samoa, will serve a three-match ban but will be allowed to play in the World Cup.

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In a high tackle on So’otala Fa’aso’o, number eight Leitch was dismissed.

“The player accepted that foul play occurred and that the offending warranted a red card,” World Rugby said in a statement on Thursday.

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“The Committee noted that the offence carries a mandatory mid-range sanction (six matches), and having considered the mitigating factors reduced the sanction by the maximum mitigation of 50%.”

In the build-up to the World Cup, Japan plays against Tonga on July 29, Fiji on Aug. 5 and Italy on Aug. 26.

Leitch could still play in the match against Italy if he underwent the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme, which would further reduce his suspension.

At the World Cup, which runs from Sept. 8 to Oct. 28 in France, Japan are in Pool D with England, Argentina, Samoa and Chile.

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