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Rebels' Tupou cited, faces suspension as finals loom

Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou is in doubt for the Melbourne Rebels' historic Super Rugby Pacific finals tilt after being cited for dangerous play.

Tupou faces a ban of up to three games for an incident in the 65th minute of Friday night's 53-17 loss to the Brumbies after cleaning out lock Darcy Swain high at GIO Stadium.

Swain was left holding his neck on the ground and, despite the incident going unpunished during the game, the SANZAAR judiciary has found Tupuo met the red card threshold.

His case will be heard by a SANZAAR foul play review committee on Monday night.

"Taniela Tupou of the Rebels has been cited for alleged foul play during a Super Rugby Pacific match at the weekend," the citing statement read on Monday.

"Tupou is alleged to have contravened Law 9.20: Dangerous play in a ruck or maul, during the match between the Brumbies and Rebels at GIO Stadium in Canberra on 24 May 2024.

"Upon further review of the match footage, the Citing Commissioner deemed in his opinion the incident had met the Red Card threshold for foul play."

The sixth-placed Rebels are assured of making the finals for the first time in the beleaguered club's 14-year history.

They will finish anywhere from sixth to eighth depending on the outcome of their last-round clash with the Fijian Drua in Lautoka on Saturday.

With the Rebels certain to play a knockout quarter-final, Tupou may even have made his final appearance for the side if he is suspended.

Rugby Australia is still to decide if the cash-strapped franchise will feature in next year's competition.

Tupou was making returning to action last week after missing the round-13 loss to the Chiefs with a concussion.