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Page last updated at 21:34 GMT, Monday, 31 March 2008 22:34 UK

Rabeni handed 14-week suspension

Seru Rabeni
Rabeni has been capped 12 times by Fiji

Leicester centre Seru Rabeni has been found guilty of eye-gouging and suspended for 14 weeks by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing.

The Fijian was cited following the Guinness Premiership match against Saracens on 15 March when he made illegal contact with Andy Kyriacou.

Rabeni, 29, has only just returned from a three-week ban for a high tackle on Newcastle's Jamie Noon.

He is out from 1 April until 7 July and will be able to play again on 8 July.


The timing of the suspension runs until the end of the current domestic season and then takes into account any potential summer appearances by the player for Fiji and the Pacific Islands.

The maximum suspension for gouging is two years, and Rabeni's ban comes in on the lower end of the scale - with the minimum entry point on the RFU table set at three months.

Nevertheless, it still rates as one of the heftiest suspensions dished out in the history of the Premiership.

Last season, Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley received a 26-week ban for two cases of eye-gouging and missed out on an England tour and potential World Cup place because of it.

And England prop Kevin Yates received a six-month ban for biting an opponent in 1998, while in 2006 Tongan international Epi Taione was suspended for 18 weeks for the same offence.

see also
Leicester 36-23 Saracens
15 Mar 08 |  English
Rabeni must serve three-week ban
06 Feb 08 |  English

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