USA centre Fane Eti Haungatau has been suspended for five weeks for her "savage" tackle on Wales fly-half Robyn Wilkins.

The offence was only deemed a yellow card offence during Wales' 38-13 win over USA last Saturday in a WXV warm-up, despite the incident leaving a number of Wales players angry at the time. The Sale Sharks centre was later cited

Haungatau had chipped ahead before racing towards the ball which was being gathered by Wilkins. The USA player proceeded with her challenge and knocked Wilkins to the ground. Wilkins was removed from the field of play with a head injury and did not return.

TMO intervention resulted in Haungatau's sin-binning, with referee Clara Munarini heard on camera saying that Wilkins' low height was a big factor in the card being yellow and not red. But an independent judicial committee has ruled that there was no applicable mitigation as set out in World Rugby’s head contact process.

You can see the tackle below

A Six Nations statement said that Haungatau, cited for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13, admitted she had committed an act of foul play but did not admit the act warranted a red card. The committee deemed that she had committed a reckless act of foul play which met the red card test, there was no applicable mitigation and the offending had resulted in "a significant injury" to Wilkins.

The committee started with a 10-week suspension, but after acknowledging there were no aggravating factors, the player's admission of foul play, her remorse and clean disciplinary record, this was reduced to a five-week suspension which will be reduced to four if she completes World Rugby's coaching intervention programme. Haungatau will miss USA's WXV fixtures against Samoa, Scotland and Italy, and Sale Sharks' league fixtures against Bristol Bears and Harlequins.

Former Wales centre Alecs Donovan, commentating for WRU TV, said of the tackle: "It looked absolutely savage. I can hardly watch it. It doesn't get more dangerous than that."

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