Blues lock Filo Paulo's Super Rugby season is over after he was suspended for five weeks following an incident during the North v South match at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Sunday.
Paulo, playing for North, was cited under for an alleged punch on South lock Tom Donnelly (Crusaders). He was one of four players cited following a fracas 32 minutes into the first half of the match won by South 32 - 24. The other three players received no sanction.
The suspension takes effect from this weekend and extends up to and including the weekend of 14 July. This will mean Paulo misses the remainder of the regular Super Rugby season.
Paulo's hearing was held today before New Zealand Rugby Union Judicial Officer Roger Drummond.
He found that the offending was at the top end of IRB sanctions for foul play meriting a penalty of eight weeks. The Judicial Officer took into account Paulo's relatively clean record, his early acknowledgement of the offence, the fact that he had expressed remorse and that he had apologised to the player concerned after the match, in imposing a penalty of five weeks suspension.