Wallaby hooker Tolu Latu was sent off this afternoon in Paris in the game against Connacht for swearing at Wayne Barnes.
It was his second yellow card and he showed a red card from the brave English referee.
Irish commentator Ryle Nugent then says: “Latu is in all kinds of trouble, all kinds of trouble. Good night, good luck and see you soon.
“Whatever he said to Wayne Barnes, it was enough to warrant a yellow card. It’s his second to go for foul play, and that’s it.”
One can hear Wayne say that Latu “looked right at me and yelled, ‘f**king hell!’
“He then looked at me and said, ‘I’ve got the damn ball!'” Barnes told Stade Francais captain Tala Gray.
Wayne Barnes explains his actions against Tolu Latu.
“He said damn hell”. “He then looked at me and said, I’ve got the damn ball.”
— Darren Carlson (@SaffasRugby) January 23, 2022
Latu is a bit of a bad boy, having previously been ticketed for drunk driving.
Latu was sentenced in court last Friday after pleading guilty to drink-driving and driving while suspended. He was given a three-month driving ban for each violation and a total fine of $1,300 for both violations. He was also ordered to pay court costs and have an interlock device fitted to his car.
At the conclusion of the legal proceedings, the Rugby Australia Integrity Unit determined that Latu had committed a moderate violation of the Code of Conduct for Professional Players and issued a sanction that included a four (4) match suspension and a $5,000 fine.
The four-game suspension is deemed fulfilled after Latu missed his club Sydney University’s Shute Shield match with Eastwood this weekend, having previously missed three Super Rugby games due to a two-game suspension imposed by the Waratahs, and as he was required to be present in court for sentencing on the date of the team’s last game against the Highlanders on June 14. The financial penalty took into account the fact that as a result of the court proceedings, Latu has already accrued out-of-pocket expenses totaling approximately $7,000. Latu is also required to participate in any counseling and/or alcohol education programs that Rugby AU and/or the Waratahs deem necessary for a period of 12 months.
Other factors were considered in arriving at the sanction, including Latu’s personal circumstances leading up to the event and his failure to disclose the incident to his employers before it went public through the media. It was also acknowledged that Latu took responsibility for his conduct and made a public statement, taking responsibility and recognizing the gravity of the situation and the impact on his team and the sport, and that at the earliest opportunity pleaded guilty to the two criminal offenses.
Latu has accepted the finding and sanction of the Rugby Australia Integrity Unit.