Hurricanes will be without talented young flanker Ardie Savea for the opening weeks of the new Super Rugby season after he was handed a four-week ban.
Savea, who had impressed for Wellington in the ITM Cup, appeared before a judicial panel after being cited after the warm-up clash against the Chiefs.
And Savea was found guilty of performing a lifting tackle on Chiefs half-back Augustine Pulu - with judicial officer Nigel Hampton QC describing it as clumsy with elements of recklessness.
"The player has acknowledged the tackle was poorly executed and I have considered his early admission of fault as being in his favour," Hampton said.
"I deem the tackle to be in the mid-range of seriousness. Taking into account all the mitigating factors, and this young man's impressive character and conduct through this process, I have decided a sanction of no less than four weeks is appropriate."
Savea will now be unable to play again until March 17, meaning he missed the games against the Blues. the Redfs, the Crusaders and the Highlanders.
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