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Tonga's George Moala will miss first 3 Rugby World Cup games after losing appeal

DUBLIN (AP) — Tonga center George Moala failed in his appeal to reduce his five-match suspension on Thursday and will miss their first three Rugby World Cup pool games in France.

Moala committed a tip tackle on Canada's Ben LeSage in a home test on Aug. 10 in Nuku'alofa. Moala, a former All Black, was sent off.

The judiciary started with a mid-range sanction of 10 games and reduced it by half. Moala was still picked in Tonga's World Cup squad.

His appeal against the mid-range entry point for the sanction was dismissed. The appeal panel said the judicial committee “was entitled” to start there, so the suspension was upheld.

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The World Cup games covered by his five-match ban were against Ireland, Scotland and South Africa.

The first time he would be available for Tonga would be for their last pool game against Romania on Oct. 8 in Lille.

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AP rugby: https://apnews.com/hub/rugby