Saturday 21 October 2017

Incoming Connacht centre Vasiteri set for lengthy spell on the sidelines after eye gouging opponent

Eroni Vasiteri of Fiji takes on the defence during the round one NRC match between Brisbane and Fiji at Ballymore Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Eroni Vasiteri of Fiji takes on the defence during the round one NRC match between Brisbane and Fiji at Ballymore Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Connacht bound centre Eroni Vasiteri has been handed a nine-week ban for eye gouging Canberra Vikings hooker Folau Fainga’a during round five of the Fijian Drua’s inaugural National Rugby Championship campaign.

Fainga’a immediately reported the incident to the referee during the Vikings’ 66-5 win in Canberra, which was the second eye gouging allegation from the game after Drua fullback Apisalome Waqatabu was accused and cleared of a separate eye gouging allegation by the NRC judiciary on Friday.

Vasiteri faced an initial 12-week suspension from the NRC but his ban was reduced to nine-weeks given his previously clean disciplinary record.

Vasiteri will join Drua teammate Samu Suguturaga on the sidelines until at least December after the hooker was suspended for 20 weeks for a biting charge on Brisbane City hooker Andrew Ready in September.

The Fijian centre will join Connacht on a one-year deal and will link up with the squad at the conclusion of the NRC later this month.

Announcing the signing of Eroni, Connacht Head Coach Kieran Keane said: “I am delighted to announce that we are adding Eroni Vasiteri to our squad. Eroni is a strong, physical player who will give us greater options for the season ahead in the Guinness PRO14 and European Challenge Cup.

"Eroni will integrate into the squad in the coming weeks and I’m sure he will get a massive reception from the Sportsground crowd.”

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