Latu available for Highlanders game

by Staff Writer

Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu will be available to play against the Highlanders in a fortnight after being suspended for one week on Sunday.

Latu was suspended for punching Matt Toomua in the Brumbies vs Waratahs match on Friday night, after being cited in the hours after the game.

While NSW has a bye this weekend, Latu was set to be made available for his club side Sydney Uni for a Shute Shield preseason game, in the absence of a Super Rugby match.

With all games weighted equally by the SANZAAR judiciary, Latu's one-week suspension means he will be free to play in the Waratahs' round four match against the Highlanders.

SANZAAR's judiciary determined Latu's was a low-end offence and in the absence of any aggravating factors, combined with Latu's clean record, the 23-year-old was offered a reduced penalty.

Judicial officer Robert Stelzner SC said he was satisfied that Latu would have played in club rugby next weekend.

"Evidence was submitted to me by the Waratahs that Latu and other players who needed game time would be made available and scheduled to play on the weekend of 12 March in the for their clubs in Sydney," he said.

"I was officially advised in the hearing and again in written form that if Latu was available, he would play in this match as he needs the match practice. .

"I considered from the evidence given to me by the Waratahs that this match was meaningful to the player and that other players would also be scheduled to play during this bye week."

The result is a major boon to the NSW side, who are set to miss starting hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau for up to eight weeks with a broken wrist.

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