Argentina full-back Juan Cruz Mallia appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) in Argentina’s international match against Wales on 10 July, 2021.
The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Roddy Dunlop QC (Scotland), joined by former international Becky Essex (England) and former international referee Donal Courtney (Ireland).
The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play and accepted that it was worthy of a red card. The committee acknowledged the player’s admission that the act of foul play was a reckless act resulting in contact with the head of an opponent.
The committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension. Having acknowledged mitigating factors including the player’s clean disciplinary record, his admission of the act of foul play, and his demonstration of remorse, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by the maximum of three weeks, meaning the player will miss the following matches: Wales v Argentina (17 July, 2021), South Africa v Argentina (14 August, 2021) and Argentina v South Africa (21 August, 2021).
The player intends to apply to take part in World Rugby’s recently launched Head Contact Process Coaching Intervention Programme which is aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contribute to the foul play. The committee approved the application and the player and his coach will therefore submit a coaching intervention for consideration by World Rugby’s expert Review Panel. Following confirmation by the panel of successful completion, the final match of the player’s sanction will be substituted by the Coaching Intervention and the player would therefore be free to play in Argentina’s second test against South Africa on 21 August, 2021. Further information on the Coaching Intervention Programme can be found here.
The player has the right of appeal within 48 hours of the issuing of the full written decision. The full written decision can be read here when available.
Click here to watch the video that explains how rugby’s disciplinary process works.
Visit World Rugby’s dedicated disciplinary process education and information page here.
World Rugby is managing the communications for all matches in the July test window. Please contact Dom Rumbles for further information.