Romania replacement Sioeli Lama appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having been cited for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.17 (tackling a player in the air) following Romania’s international match against Tonga on 20 November, 2021, the player having received a yellow card at the time of the offence.

The independent Disciplinary Committee chaired by Philippe Cavalieros (France), joined by former international players David Croft (Australia) and Ofisa Tonu’u (New Zealand), heard the case, considering all the available evidence, including the broadcast angles and submissions from the player and his representative, and from the match-day referee and TMO. The player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play, however he did not accept the foul play was worthy of a red card.

Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed as follows:

  • That the player had committed an act of foul play by making contact with the Tongan player in the air
  • That such contact was reckless, and
  • That the Tongan player landed in a dangerous position

Therefore, on the balance of probabilities, the committee did not find that the Citing Commissioner’s decision was wrong, and the citing was upheld.

The committee applied the low-end entry point for a breach of Law 9.17. This resulted in a starting point of a four-week suspension.

Having acknowledged mitigating factors (with regard to sanction) including the player’s clean disciplinary record, the player’s apologies to both the player and the management team, and good conduct at the hearing, the Committee awarded the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent resulting in a final sanction of two weeks (to be served as the following given the player’s upcoming schedule):

  1. Romania A match on 17 December, 2021
  2. Rugby Europe Championship match on 5 February, 2022

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.