Rugby Union: Le Roux is sent off again on his return

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Rugby Union

The former Springbok prop, Johan le Roux, was sent off four days after returning from a 19-month suspension as Transvaal lost 13-9 to the Australian Capital Territory in a Super-12 match yesterday.

Le Roux was dismissed by the referee, Wayne Erickson, five minutes into the second half after allegedly butting the opposing hooker, Marco Caputo, who left the field with blood streaming from a gashed forehead but returned after treatment.

Le Roux, 34, was given his ban after biting the ear of the New Zealand captain, Sean Fitzpatrick, during a Test against the All Blacks in July 1994 - he was sent home from the tour and ruled out of last year's World Cup in South Africa. He was expected to appear before a Super-12 tournament judiciary committee yesterday, before Transvaal flew to New Zealand for their next Super-12 match against Otago on Saturday.

The Transvaal and South Africa coach, Kitch Christie, said Le Roux had retaliated after having his nose broken by an ACT player, but he added that the player would be sent home if the judiciary committee found him guilty of foul play. "He has a broken nose, whether he was hit first or hit second he has come off second best and the team has come off third best," Christie said.

The Springbok and Transvaal hooker, James Dalton, has lost an appeal against a two-match suspension after dismissal in a a Super-12 match last Friday.