Tonga suffer Jason Taumalolo disciplinary blow ahead of World Cup

Jason Taumalolo Tonga PA

Tonga have suffered a blow ahead of the World Cup with influential forward Jason Taumalolo facing a three-match suspension. 

The 29-year-old was sent to the sin-bin during North Queensland Cowboys’ finals defeat to Parramatta Eels. Taumalolo was penalised for a high shot on opposition and New Zealand international back-rower Isaiah Papali’i during the first half.

He now faces a three-match suspension after being charged by the NRL match review committee with grade two dangerous contact.

If he challenges the grading, the Tonga international could face a four-match suspension if unsuccessful. He could receive a three-game ban with an early guilty plea.

Kristian Woolf’s Tonga are due to play France in Halifax as part of their World Cup warm-up, which would count towards the suspension.

However, it means he could still miss the group matches against Papua New Guinea and Wales in Group D of the Men’s tournament. He would be free to play against Cook Islands in Middlesborough if he accepts the early guilty plea.

Disciplinary issues for the World Cup

Several international stars have been impacted by suspensions ahead of the World Cup in autumn.

England’s John Bateman has been included in Paul Anderson’s Knights squad, meaning his three-match ban will only see him miss the opener against Samoa at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

The 28-year-old was sent off for a high and late hit on Leeds half-back Aidan Sezer during Wigan’s 20-8 semi-final defeat by Leeds last Friday.

Bateman will serve the first match when England Knights play France B on October 2. The second in the senior England side’s World Cup warm-up against Fiji five days later.

His third and final suspended game will be their World Cup opener against Samoa on October 15. He will be free to return for the rest of tournament.

Gil Dudson is set to miss out on a place in John Kear’s Wales squad following his three-match ban. He was sent off during Catalans’ defeat to Leeds in the Super League play-offs.

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About Josh McAllister 2126 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.


  1. Suspensions make sense for mid-season internationals in the country where the offence occurred.

    I think World Cups should see bans simply being rolled over to the following domestic season.

    These bans are exceedingly ill-thought-out.

  2. Club offences leading to international suspensions is such a daft way to do things.

    If it’s something like a ban which lasts for months, such as a drugs ban or criminal offence, yes, of course, that should and would remain for club and international matches.

    However anything related to foul play, high tackles, etc, all of the routine sendings off, suspensions etc should remain with the club.

    The club should be responsible for the discipline of their players on the pitch.

    The national team suffers due to club play.

    The entire tournament suffers, and therefore the game as a whole, because important players can be missing for most of, if not all, of a nation’s games in the tournament, leading to players people would want to be watching actually not playing in the tournament.

    The clubs, who are responsible for their player’s behaviour on the pitch, don’t have to suffer the consequences of their player’s actions so get off without suffering.

    You want good players in teams to be successful and reach the play offs (the nature of the league suggests the best players should be there at that stage) and then any bans they get in those extra games leaves them out of the international World Cup? Ridiculous


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