Blues lock Filo Paulo will miss the remainder of the Investec Super Rugby season after being suspended for five weeks following an incident during the North v South match at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Sunday.
Paulo was cited for an alleged punch on South lock Tom Donnelly during a fracas 32 minutes into the first half of the match, won by South 32-24.
Paulo’s hearing was held yesterday before New Zealand Rugby Union Judicial Officer Roger Drummond.
He found that the offending was at the top end of IRB sanctions for foul play meriting a penalty of eight weeks.
The Judicial Officer took into account Paulo’s relatively clean record, his early acknowledgement of the offence, the fact that he had expressed remorse and that he had apologised to the player concerned after the match, in imposing a penalty of five weeks suspension.
However, the Judicial Officer said that a clear message had to be sent that the incident was unacceptable.
With lock Anthony Boric sidelined with an injury, the Blues are likely to need to bring in another player for their last two games, but who that will be is yet to be determined.