England flanker Lewis Ludlow appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having been cited for an act of foul play in England’s international match against Canada on 10 July, 2021.

The independent Disciplinary Committee chaired by Roddy Dunlop QC (Scotland), joined by former elite player Jamie Corsi (Wales) and former international coach Frank Hadden (Scotland), heard the case, considering all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and his representative.

The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that:

  • The offence was a breach of Law 9.11 (players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others)
  • The foul play was not intentional but was a reckless act

On that basis, 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.

The committee acknowledged mitigating factors including the player’s admission of foul play but noted that the player did not have a clean disciplinary record. Accordingly, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by two weeks resulting in a sanction of four weeks being imposed, applicable to the player’s upcoming club matches with Gloucester:

  • 28 August – Ealing
  • 4 September – Ealing
  • 11 September – Hartpury
  • 18 September – Northampton 

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 week of the player’s sanction will be substituted by the Coaching Intervention and the player would therefore be free to play in Gloucester’s match against Northampton on 18 September, 2021. 

The player may apply to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme to substitute the final match of his sanction for a coaching intervention aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play. 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 Dominic Rumbles for further information.