Taranaki club rugby player suspended

A rugby player in Taranaki has been suspended for eight weeks while several other players and a club official face sanctions for their role in a brawl earlier this month.

The fight occurred after a match between premier grade sides Tukapa and Spotswood United at Sanders Park on 1 June.

The Taranaki Rugby Football Union Judiciary has dealt with five players and one official across both clubs.

One player has been exonerated while the others face penalties ranging from a formal written warning to the eight-week suspension.

The judicial committee has not released the players names or club affiliations or details of the sanctions they each face.

It said it was unable to do so while there was a right of an appeal process to go through.

The two clubs would also be deducted five competition points.

The Taranaki Rugby Operations Advisory Committee recommended to the TRFU Board to deduct five competition points from both Tukapa and Spotswood United premier sides, which the Board has endorsed.

Community Rugby Manager Cole Brown said he was satisfied with the judicial process.

"We have made a stand that violence in our game is unacceptable with significant sanctions now imposed by our Judiciary."

Mr Brown said the incident was unprecedented in Taranaki because the union and clubs strive to uphold strong values and community spirit around its rugby.

"Our competition and brand have been compromised but now these sanctions are imposed, we believe these are a strong deterrent to stop these happening again," he said.

"We are proud as a union of the positive social influence we have in our communities and we will continue to uphold these values moving forward."

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