Tonga centre George Moala’s appeal against the decision of a Judicial Committee to suspend him for five matches arising from an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.18 (lifting tackle) in Tonga’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Canada on 10 August, 2023, was heard remotely on 24 August, 2023.

The independent Appeal Committee was chaired by Christopher Quinlan KC (independent Judicial Panel Chairman), Brenda Heather-Latu (Samoa) and Judge Mike Mika (New Zealand).

The Appeal Committee dismissed the player’s appeal against the entry point of the offending. Having considered the evidence before it, the Appeal Committee found that the Judicial Committee which heard the case at first instance was entitled to find that the tackle warranted a mid-range entry point and accordingly upheld the decision of the Disciplinary Committee.

As Moala has been selected in the Tonga Rugby World Cup 2023 squad the suspension remains as imposed by the Judicial Committee and therefore the player will miss the following matches:

  • Tonga v Canada – 15 August, 2023
  • Clermont Auvergne v Perpignan – 26 August, 2023
  • Ireland v Tonga – 16 September, 2023
  • Scotland v Tonga – 24 September, 2023
  • South Africa v Tonga – 1 October, 2023

The full written decision will appear here once available.