Queensland prop Liz Patu has appeared before an independent disciplinary panel in Brisbane tonight after being cited over an alleged biting incident during the match between Queensland Women's XV and Rugby WA Women at Suncorp Stadium last Saturday.
Following the hearing at QRU headquarters at Ballymore, Judicial Officer Chris Newton issued Patu with a suspension of six (6 weeks) after she had entered a plea of guilty to the offence.
The entry point for a biting offence carries a 12-week suspension, however Patu received the full 50% reduction available under World Rugby regulations due to mitigating factors and her previous good character and clean disciplinary record.
Patu attended the hearing in person and was represented by Michael O’Brien of Fisher Dore Lawyers and Queensland Women's XV team manager, Felicity Bennetts.
Patu provided the following statement after the hearing:
Liz Patu statement
“I’d like to express my remorse for my actions in Saturday’s match. I apologise to Rebecca Clough, the Rugby WA Women’s team, my own teammates and the wider Rugby public.
“I’ve played club, state and international Rugby and previously haven’t committed an act such as this and I accept my punishment.
“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.”
Patu has 48 hours to appeal the decision. A full written judgement will be available in the next 24 hours.