Fijian Qovu banned for two weeks for 'strike'

Rugby ball
Rugby ball

Paris - La Rochelle's Fijian lock Jone Qovu was banned for two weeks on Wednesday for "striking" Gloucester's Richard Hibbard, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said.

The 31-year-old Qovu had been cited for punching the former Welsh international hooker in the gut in the 45th minute of the European Challenge Cup semi-final on Saturday, which Gloucester won 16-14.

Qovu will miss French Top 14 leaders La Rochelle's final two regular season league matches but will be allowed to return for the play-offs as the unfashionable west coast club aim for their first ever national title.

The play-offs begin on May 19, with Qovu's ban due to run out on May 8 -- although Las Rochelle will likely finish in the top two and receive a bye straight into the play-off semi-finals that begin on May 26.

He will miss matches against Montpellier and Clermont, La Rochelle's nearest two challengers and the only teams that can deny them a top two finish.

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