Australia number eight Rob Valetini 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 Australia’s international match against Wales on 20 November, 2021. 
The independent Disciplinary Committee chaired by Mike Hamlin (England), joined by former international Mike Ross (Ireland) 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 offending was reckless, and that he ran at speed in an upright position in an attempt to tackle Adam Beard, exhibiting poor tackle technique resulting in his head striking the right-hand side of Adam Beard’s head (in breach of World Rugby’s Head Contract Process and Law 9.13) who was removed from the field of play. He failed his HIA and received 20 stitches in the area of his eyebrow.
The Committee determined by a majority that after an assessment of the seriousness of the offending the actions merited a minimum mid-range entry point of six weeks (with one member determining the offending justified a top end entry point of 10+ weeks). 
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 determined that all mitigating factors were present and the player was entitled to a 50 per cent reduction from the entry point, and accepting that there were no aggravating factors the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks (to be served as the following given the player’s upcoming schedule):  
  • Waratahs v Brumbies – 29 January, 2022
  • Brumbies v Brumbies Development – 4 or 5 February, 2022
  • Moana Pasifika v Brumbies – 18 February, 2022 (substituted if successfully completes the Head Contact Process Coaching Intervention). 
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
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.