Canada prop Olivia DeMerchant 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 Canada’s international match against Wales on 21 November, 2021. 

The independent Disciplinary Committee chaired by Tommy Dalton (Ireland), joined by former international referee Valeriu Toma (Romania) and former international referee Donal Courtney (Ireland), heard the case, considering all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and her representatives.

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

  1. There was no conclusive evidence that the player’s shoulder had come in contact with the tackled player’s head and neck area
  2. Neither the player nor the tackled player had any recollection of contact between the player’s shoulder and the tackled player’s head and neck area
  3. The submission that no such contact occurred, made on the player’s behalf, following review of the video evidence, was convincing.

On that basis, the committee did not uphold the red card and the player is free to play again immediately.

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.