Wallabies captain Liz Patu handed six-week ban for biting incident

Australia women's captain Liz Patu has been banned for six weeks for biting an opponent's arm during a 'Super W' game.

The Queensland hooker was handed a 12-week suspension reduced by 50% due to previous good character and a clean disciplinary record.

Patu was appointed Wallaroos' skipper last year.

In a statement, Patu expressed remorse for her actions and apologised to Rebecca Clough, the player who was bitten; the Rugby WA Women's team, her own teammates and the wider rugby public.

"I've played club, state and international Rugby and previously haven't committee an act such as this and I accept my punishment," said Patu.

"I want to reassure the Rugby public, administration and my fellow players, that when I return to play I will ensure that the game is played in the right spirit and do what I can to promote the Women's game in a positive manner.

My actions the other night were unacceptable and will not be repeated.

Clough brought the incident to the referee's attention at the time, showing the marks on her arm.

However, Patu was not cited as the referee did not see it happen and the five-week competition does not use television match officials. This is because not all of the venues used have screens.

Following the Rugby Australia judicial hearing, Queensland Super W program head and Queensland Women’s XV assistant coach Tyrell Barker said: "As we continue to work to build the Women’s game, we need to ensure that players have a safe playing and training environment from the grassroots through to the elite level of the game.

"We also have a duty of care to the player in question. Liz has been a part of Queensland and National programs for a long time, and her actions on the weekend were out of character.

"We will work with Liz to ensure that when she returns to play, she will demonstrate the spirit of Rugby and abide by the laws of the game."

Commentating on the match, former Wallabies back Drew Mitchell branded Patu's actions as "disgusting".

"That is disgusting and it's not a part of our game, especially from an Australian representative and a captain at that."


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