Rugby player sent off after picking up referee to celebrate team winning match

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The French ProD2 rarely makes headlines on this side of the Channel, but that’s changed this weekend, with Josaia Raisuqe one of the most talked about rugby union players in Europe.

The 26-year-old Fijian is by no means a household name, but he went viral across social media after he was dismissed in the closing moments of Nevers’ win over Beziers on Friday night.

Nevers went into the final stages leading by just five points, desperately defending their own try-line.

And with time expired, referee Laurent Millotte blew his whistle signalling a hard-fought win for the visitors.

But while the majority of the Nevers players ran away in celebration, Raisuqe opted to celebrate in the most unusual way imaginable.

With the whistle barely out of Millote’s mouth, Raisuqe made the unusual decision to lift the match official above his head, while players looked on baffled.

However, the referee failed to see the funny side of the incident, instantly showing the winger a red card.

Raisuqe is now in line for some kind of ban, with his coach Xavier Pemaja taking a particularly dim view of the celebration.

“It’s intolerable. He’ll be punished by the league’s disciplinary committee,” Pemeja told  Canal+  television.

“I’ll deal with him. I can’t accept it. What happened at the end there it’s going to be very bad.”

Shortly after the match finished, the footage was uploaded to social media, with users dubbing the Lion King classic 'Circle of Life' over the top.

Perhaps what makes the extravagant celebration even more surprising is the fact that it only moved Nevers into sixth place in the table.

It’s unlikely that Raisuqe will be lifting a trophy at the end of the season, but his lift of Millote is likely to be once seen for years to come.

  • Rugby union

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