Canada flanker Michael Smith, appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card in Canada’s international match against Belgium on 13 November, 2021. The red card was awarded for an offence pursuant to Law 9.16 (dangerous charge).

The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Marcello d’Orey (Portugal), joined by former international players Olly Kohn (Wales) and Mike Ross (Ireland).

The player accepted that he had committed both the act of foul play and accepted that the offence was worthy of a red card. 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.

Having acknowledged mitigating factors including the presence and timing of an acknowledgement of wrong-doing, the player’s disciplinary record and good character, the player’s remorse for his conduct and the player’s conduct prior to and at the hearing, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent, resulting in a sanction of three weeks (to be served as the following given the player’s upcoming schedule):  

  1. 6 February, 2022 - San Diego Legion v Utah Warriors – Major League Rugby
  2. 12 February, 2022 - San Diego Legion v Dallas Jackals – Major League Rugby
  3. 20 February, 2022 - San Diego Legion v Seattle Seawolves – Major League Rugby

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 can be found here.

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 November test window. Please contact for further information.