Connacht centre Bundee Aki has been suspended for three games following his comments to referee Ian Davies during his side's defeat to Leinster.
Following a disciplinary hearing in Cardiff via video link this afternoon, the Kiwi playmaker has been ruled out of Connacht's remaining two PRO12 fixtures and their upcoming Champions Cup playoff scheduled for the weekend of May 19th-21st.
In a statement, PRO12 confirmed:
The complaint referred to Mr Aki's behaviour to and remarks directed toward, referee Ian Davies, during and immediately after the Round 20 fixture between Connacht Rugby and Leinster Rugby (April 15, 2017).
Those actions were deemed to constitute misconduct under the tournament's Disciplinary Rules, in particular pursuant to the clauses set out in Section 3.
Mr Aki admitted to the charge of misconduct and the Panel, chaired by Roger Morris with Simon Thomas as wing (both Wales), agreed upon a sanction of a three-match suspension.
The player can return to play on Monday, May 22, 2017.
Mr Aki was reminded of his right to appeal.
Aki was reprimanded by the referee on more than one occasion during Connachts' PRO12 fixture with Leinster for vocally protesting decisions and showing dissent. He reportedly refused to shake Welsh referee Davies' hand after the match.
— Freedom Littleseal (@TheShiftyShadow) April 15, 2017
The 27-year-old drew the ire of the referee on a number of occasions, with Davies asking Connacht captain John Muldoon that he 'turn the volume down' on his centre. Muldoon replied: "He's been good," to which Davies retorted: "He's got a bit loud now, so turn him down."