New Zealand prop Angus Ta’avao attended an independent disciplinary hearing via video link after receiving a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (a player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously) in New Zealand’s test match against Ireland on 9 July.

The independent Judicial Committee, chaired by Wang Shao-Ing (Singapore), joined by former player Leon Lloyd (England) and former coach Frank Hadden (Scotland), heard the case and considered all the available evidence, including hearing from the player and his legal representative.

The player admitted that he committed an act of foul play but maintained that a red card was not warranted due to the presence of mitigating factors. 

Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee applied the Head Contact Process and upheld the red card under Law 9.13.

On that basis, the committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks given the direction by World Rugby that “any act of foul play which results in contact with the head and/or the neck shall result in at least a mid-range sanction.” 

Taking into account the player’s excellent disciplinary record and the mitigating factors under Regulation 17, the Committee granted the player full mitigation of 50 per cent to three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks. The committee also approved the player's application under the Head Contact Process – Coaching Intervention Programme. If the coaching application is approved, the player’s sanction could be reduced by one week.

The player has the right of appeal within 48 hours of the issuing of the full written decision, which will appear here once published. 

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 test matches in the July test window. Please contact for further information.