LYON, France (Reuters) - Tonga loose forward Vaea Fifita has almost certainly seen his last action at this year's World Cup after being banned for four matches for a dangerous tackle on Scotland's Finn Russell last weekend.
The Tonga-born former All Black was shown a yellow card later upgraded to red for the tackle late in the game. The 31-year-old admitted foul play at a judicial hearing on Tuesday but questioned whether it met the red-card threshold.
The independent panel decided the tackle was reckless, there was head contact and no mitigation and therefore banned him for six matches with a reduction of two games for his remorse and previous disciplinary record.
Fifita will therefore miss the game against world champions South Africa on Sunday and Tonga's last Pool B clash with Romania on Oct. 8 as well as two matches for his Welsh team Scarlets.
Tonga have lost both pool matches against Ireland and Scotland and are all but out of the running for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Toby Davis)