Reds winger Daugunu suspended for five weeks

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

The Reds will be without winger Filipo Daugunu until round five of the Super Rugby season after he was hit with a five-week suspension for a tip tackle late in last week's trial against the Rebels last week.

The flying winger, who scored five tries in the Reds' drubbing of Melbourne in Gladstone last week, will miss the team's opening round and crucial trip to South Africa and Argentina, before becoming available for their round five clash against the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.

It could have been worse for Queensland though, with Daugunu receiving a 50 percent reduction in the penalty due to his early guilty plea and remorse.

Daugunu appeared via video link before judicial officer Adam Casselden SC in Sydney today after being issued with a red card during his team’s pre-season trial match against Melbourne in Gladstone last week.

He was judged to have committed a mid-range breach, an offence which carries a 10-week suspension. But he received the full reduction available under World Rugby regulations, giving some relief to the Reds.

Daugunu signed a four-year contract extension with the Reds late last year, with a top-up component from Rugby Australia after he met residency conditions that would allow him to qualify for the Wallabies.

The decision looked to be vindicated given his form early in the Gladstone match but his suspension will open the door for former Wallaby and Brumbies recruit Henry Speight and 2019 revelation Jock Campbell to nail down the starting spots for the Reds.

While his finishing ability is unquestioned, Daugunu's defensive decisions and tackling style is likely to come under scrutiny if he is to return and lock down a permanent wing spot.

Daugunu was represented during Wednesday's hearing by Mark Martin QC and Queensland Reds General Manager Professional Rugby, Sam Cordingley.