Scotland centre Hannah Smith appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having been cited for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) in Scotland’s international match against Japan on 14 November, 2021. 

The independent Disciplinary Committee chaired by Jennifer Donovan (Ireland), joined by former international referee Juan Pablo Spirandelli (Argentina) and former international John Langford (Australia), heard the case, considering all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and her representative.

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:

An act of foul play meeting the red card threshold had been committed by the player and the citing was upheld.

On that basis, the committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head and determined that the foul play warranted a mid-range entry point. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.

Having acknowledged mitigating factors including the player’s exemplary disciplinary record and conduct at the hearing, and accepted that there were no aggravating factors the committee reduced the six-week entry point by two weeks, resulting in a sanction of four weeks. The matches which the suspension will apply is to be confirmed once the player’s upcoming schedule is provided to the Disciplinary Committee.

The player may apply to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme to substitute the final match of her 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.

The player has the right of appeal within 48 hours of the issuing of the full written decision.

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.