Italian prop Andrea Lovotti received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.18 (lifting tackle) in Italy’s Rugby World Cup 2019 match against South Africa on 4 October. Italy replacement prop Nicola Quaglio was cited by citing commissioner John Montgomery (Scotland) for his involvement in the same tackle.
The players attended a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo on 6 October before an independent judicial panel chaired by Sir James Dingemans (England) with former international player Olly Kohn (Wales) and former Scotland coach Frank Hadden (Scotland).
Lovotti admitted the act of foul play and accepted that it warranted a red card. Quaglio accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but denied that it met the red card threshold. Having considered all the evidence and after hearing from the players and their legal representative, the panel upheld the citing against Quaglio and imposed a sanction of three matches for both players.
In reaching its decision, the panel took into account the following:
- Both players were involved in lifting South Africa number eight Duane Vermeulen and dropping him to the ground
- The dynamics of the tackle were affected by the actions of both players
- There was no lasting injury to the South Africa number eight
- There were no aggravating factors and full mitigation was applied because of the players’ clean records and acceptance of their individual roles in the foul play
The players will both miss Italy’s remaining pool match against New Zealand on 12 October. The balance of the suspension will be served in the Rugby World Cup quarter and semi-final should Italy progress. If Italy does not progress, the balance of the suspensions will be served in the players’ upcoming PRO14 matches.