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Wallabies lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto cops four-week ban for dangerous tackle

Wallabies lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto has been hit with a four-week ban for his dangerous tackle on Pumas back-rower Santiago Grondona in Saturday's Tri Nations finale.

Salakaia-Loto was red-carded by Australian referee Angus Gardner midway through the second half of the 16-all draw after the Wallabies replacement had charged out of the line looking to make a big hit. But his wild tackle went wrong and left the Wallabies with just 14 men for the final 20 minutes of the match.

Salakaia-Loto faced a SANZAAR judicial hearing on Monday night when he lodged a guilty plea, a move that saved him a further two weeks on the sidelines next year.

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions from his legal representative, Maryjane Crabtree, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.13," SANZAAR's Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Adam Casselden SC said in handing down his decision.

"With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to the World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level.

"However, taking into account mitigating factors including the fact the Player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 4 weeks. The Player was not entitled to a full 50% reduction due to the presence of a prior offence on his record.

"The player is therefore suspended for 4 weeks, up to and including Friday 26 February 2021."

Saturday's Test was Salakaia-Loto's first since the 43-5 loss to the All Blacks in Sydney, with the Reds lock having suffered an ankle injury in that match.

He will now be sidelined until the third round of the Reds' 2021 Super Rugby AU campaign.