JRFU hands Kobe’s Nakajima a 10-match ban


Kobe Kobelco Steelers lock Vakauta Isileli Nakajima was handed a 10-match ban by the Japan Rugby Football Union on Thursday for a tip tackle during last weekend’s Top League game against the Kubota Spears.

The 27-year-old Tongan-born graduate of Ryutsu Keizai University upended Kim Ho-bum in the 14th minute of the game at Osaka’s Kincho Stadium on Sunday and was shown a red card by referee Teruhisa Kajiwara for the tackle, which drew global condemnation after it was shown on social media.

Kim fortunately was unscathed after the incident — despite landing on his head — and carried on to help the Spears to a 23-16 win that eliminated the Steelers from contention in the season-ending All-Japan Championship.

Nakajima, who was handed a four-game ban earlier in the season following a punching incident during a reserve game against the Coca-Cola Red Sparks, will miss the final league game of the season against Suntory Sungoliath on Saturday and nine more JRFU- sanctioned games.

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