News in Brief
Parisse handed eight-week ban
Sergio Parisse faces a lengthy lay-off at the start of next season
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- Italy captain Sergio Parisse has been suspended for eight weeks for eye gouging during his team's 6-27 loss to New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday.
The No.8's punishment was handed down by International Rugby Board (IRB) judicial officer Paul Tully after a hearing in Christchurch. Parisse had been cited by citing commissioner Peter Larter for making contact with the eyes or eye area of All Blacks lock Isaac Ross in the 58th minute of the test.
Tully viewed video footage of the incident, heard evidence from Parisse and his counsel and received reports from referee, Irishman George Clancy, and his assistants, Australians James Leckie and Ian Smith.
Under the IRB's prescribed sanctions for illegal and/or foul play, the entry point for sanctions is based on how serious the player's action was. Tully said that the action fell within the lower range which has an entry point of 12 weeks.
Tully said Parisse had played 65 tests, including 18 as captain, and had not previously received either a yellow or red card. Parisse's suspension will start from August 2, the start of the Italian club season, and end on September 26.
- South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has been called to a meeting with SARU chiefs in order to explain his recent remarks over scrum-half Ricky Januarie.
Answering complaints about his introduction in the first Test win over the Lions, de Villiers said: "What I learned in South Africa is, if you take your car to a garage and the owner is black or a black man, and they mess it up, you never go back to that garage.
"If the owner is white, you say, sorry, they made a mistake and you go back again. This is how some people live their lives in this country."
De Villiers also raised eyebrows by saying that he saw no need to punish flanker Schalk Burger for his alleged gouge on Lions wing Luke Fitzgerald in the second Test on Saturday.
- Three Australia players have been fined for taking part in a food fight at the team hotel ahead of their 22-6 victory over France. James O'Connor, Quade Cooper and Josh Valentine were those involved in the incident, which resulted in one of the player's rooms having to be cleaned at an extra cost.
A spokesman for the ARU said: "The ARU is extremely disappointed by their behaviour as it does not meet the required standards of a Wallaby."
The Australian Rugby Union said the matter was now closed and did not deem the offence serious enough to drop O'Connor and Valentine from the squad for the Test victory against the French.