Blues lock Filo Paulo has been suspended for five weeks following an incident during the North v South match at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Sunday.
The suspension takes effect from this weekend and extends up to and including the weekend of 14 July. This will mean Paulo misses the remainder of the regular Investec Super Rugby season.
Paulo, playing for North, was cited under law 10.4(a) for an alleged punch on South lock Tom Donnelly (Crusaders).
He was one of four players cited following a fracas 32 minutes into the first half of the match won by South 32 - 24.
Paulo's hearing was held today before New Zealand Rugby Union Judicial Officer Roger Drummond.
He found that the offending was at the top end of IRB sanctions for foul play meriting a penalty of eight weeks. The Judicial Officer took into account Paulo's relatively clean record, his early acknowledgement of the offence, the fact that he had expressed remorse and that he had apologised to the player concerned after the match, in imposing a penalty of five weeks suspension.
However, the Judicial Officer said that a clear message had to be sent that the incident was unacceptable.
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