Tolu Latu cited after backchat to Wayne Barnes

English referee heard explaining that Wallaby hooker swore at him after a penalty

Stade Francais hooker Tolu Latu has been cited on two counts following his side’s dramatic Champions Cup victory over Connacht.

The Wallaby hooker was sent off after being shown two yellow cards by referee Wayne Barnes on Sunday. The first was as a result of a dangerous clearout in the 36th minute on opposite number Shane Delahunt, while the second came not long after Latu returned from the bin when he appeared to direct abusive language at Barnes.

After being penalised at a breakdown, Latu seeminly directed his abuse while retreating back into the defensive line.

While what Latu allegedly said was not picked up by the referee mic worn by Barnes, the English official could be heard saying “speak like that again...” before stopping midsentence to brandish a second yellow for the Stade hooker.


Moments later, Barnes was heard talking to Stade skipper Tala Gray, stating that Latu “looked straight at me and shouted, ‘f**king hell!’ He then looked at me and said, ‘I got the f***ing ball!’”

Latu will appear before an EPCR disciplinary committee on Wednesday charged with contravening law 9.28 that states a player must not disrespect the authority of a match official, as well as law 9.20 which covers dangerous play at a ruck or maul.

If Latu is found guilty, each count individually carries a low end punishment of two weeks. The high end suspension for each is a maximum of 52 weeks.