Caleb Clarke has been suspended for three weeks after being found guilty of a reckless or dangerous act in colliding with his Moana Pasifika opposite Tomasi Alosio at Eden Park last Saturday.
Clarke’s ban runs until April 23, meaning he will miss Saturday’s match against the Chiefs in Hamilton, the game against the Crusaders in Christchurch and also the match against the Fijian Drua in Melbourne.
The Blues and All Black winger was found guilty in a judicial hearing on Wednesday night, with his sanction announced on Thursday morning.
It came after he leaped to charge down a kick by Alosio during the Blues’ 46-16 victory at Eden Park and collided with Alosio’s head, the Moana Pasifika player fell heavily and later had no memory of the incident. Alosio is unavailable for his team’s next match against the Highlanders on Friday.
In his finding, judicial committee chair Stephen Hardy upheld red card.
"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Judicial Committee upheld the red card under Law 9.11 [which rules that players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous].
"With respect to sanction, the Judicial Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks due to the World Rugby directive that mandates that any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range entry level. Taking into account mitigating factors, including the player’s good judicial record, the manner he held himself through the proceedings, expressed remorse with multiple attempts to check on the injured player, and his young age; the judicial committee reduced the suspension by three weeks.
"The player is therefore suspended for three weeks, up to and including 23 April 2022."
Clarke is the second Blues player to receive a ban following a red card incident. Prop Nepo Laulala was also suspended for three weeks after a dangerous clean-out on Moana Pasifika player Fini Inisi last week.