The NSW Waratahs' early-season woes have deepened with centre Izaia Perese suspended for three matches.
Perese was red-carded during his team's crushing 41-7 Super Rugby AU defeat by the Queensland Reds in round one on Friday when he upended Reds centre Hunter Paisami in a dangerous tackle.
The SANZAAR foul play review committee on Sunday banned Perese through March 19, meaning he won't be available to play again until the return match with the Reds in round six at Stadium Australia.
Perese pleaded guilty to his foul play citing and the review committee downgraded his penalty from an initial low-end entry point of six weeks after finding his action was reckless rather than international.
"The Foul Play Review Committee, having conducted a detailed review of all of the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, determined that the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of 6 weeks," a SANZAAR release read.
"This was primarily due to the reckless rather than intentional nature of the action which ultimately placed Perese's opponent in a vulnerable position but which did not cause an injury to the opponent.
"When taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's clean judicial record and the fact the Player pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced his suspension to 3 weeks.
"The Player is therefore suspended for 3 weeks, up to and including Friday 19 March 2021."
The Waratahs were also hit by injuries to skipper Jake Gordon and Perese's fellow centre Joey Walton in the loss to the Reds. Both players are set for scans on Monday.