Rugby-Brumbies lose Ikitau to suspension for Blues semi-final

MELBOURNE, June 8 (Reuters) - The ACT Brumbies have lost centre Len Ikitau to suspension in a blow to their hopes of toppling the high-flying Auckland Blues in their Super Rugby semi-final at Eden Park on Saturday.

Ikitau was red-carded for a high tackle on Wellington Hurricanes flyhalf Aidan Morgan in the quarter-final in Canberra over the weekend.

The Brumbies contested the red card at a hearing on Tuesday but the judicial panel found him guilty of a dangerous tackle, banning him for three weeks.

The ban also casts doubt over Ikitau's role for the Wallabies in July internationals against England.

Australia play Eddie Jones's team in a three-test series next month and Ikitau would likely have been a part of Dave Rennie's Wallabies squad.

"The judicial committee has sought more feedback from the player regarding his potential playing schedule and reserves the right to adjust the date of the sanction upon receipt of the information," the panel said in a statement.

The Brumbies, Australia's only semi-finalists in Super Rugby this year, will need to beat the Blues at their Eden Park base for the first time since 2013 to reach the title-decider.

The Canterbury Crusaders host the Waikato Chiefs in the other semi-final in Christchurch on Friday.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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