Aki loses last-ditch appeal
Connacht have failed in their improbable 11th hour attempt to spring Bundee Aki from the last leg of a three-match suspension for misconduct after their appeal was dismissed at a Glasgow hearing last night.
The Aki was originally banned for three matches for what Guinness PRO12 disciplinary beaks referred to as "behaviour to and remarks directed toward, referee Ian Davies, during and immediately after the Round 20 fixture between Connacht Rugby and Leinster Rugby" in Galway last month.
Connacht had hoped that a favourable hearing of their appeal might allow Aki to become available for the first leg of their imminent Champions Cup play-off but they and he must now hope that their qualification hopes enter a second week.
"The Appeal Committee was satisfied that the Disciplinary Committee had not been in error in the approach it employed in determining the appropriate sanction for the admitted misconduct offence," said a PRO12 statement.
Connacht will play either Northampton or Gloucester away - the latter should they win tomorrow's Challenge Cup final - in the first play-off next weekend before facing either Stade Francais or Cardiff on the following weekend.