RugbyU: Japan's Tupou hit with three-game ban


Tokyo (AFP)

Japan back William Tupou has been handed a three-match ban for dangerous play in last weekend's home defeat by Ireland, Japanese officials said Monday.

The 26-year-old, once a budding Wallabies prospect, won his first cap for Japan on Saturday but was cited for a spear tackle 16 minutes into the second half in Shizuoka. Ireland went on to win 50-22.

Tupou will miss this weekend's second Test against Ireland in Tokyo as well as Super Rugby games with Japan's Sunwolves away to South Africa's Golden Lions on July 2 and Western Stormers on July 9.

Japan, who face Ireland in the pool phase as co-hosts of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, have never beaten the world's third-ranked side in six meetings.

The Brave Blossoms shed their tag as perennial pushovers at the 2015 World Cup, winning three games under Eddie Jones, including an astonishing upset of two-time winners South Africa.

But they have failed to kick on significantly since then with Jones's successor Jamie Joseph under pressure to manage expectations ahead of 2019.