Japan Flanker, Pieter Labuschagne, appeared before an independent judicial committee on Thursday 10 August, having received a red card for a dangerous tackle (Law 9.13) in Japan’s Rugby World Cup warm up match against Fiji in Tokyo on 5 August 2023. 

The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Brenda Heather-Latu (Samoa), joined by former international player Leon Lloyd (England) and former international coach Frank Hadden (Scotland).

The Committee, having considered the player’s submissions and reviewed all available evidence, found that the red card threshold had been met and that the red card was therefore upheld. The Committee noted that the offence carries a mandatory mid-range sanction (six matches) and having considered the mitigating factors reduced the sanction by the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent. The final sanction is three matches as follows:

  • Italy v Japan – 26 August 2023
  • Japan v Chile – Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool D match – 10 September 2023
  • England v Japan – Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool D match – 17 September 2023*

*The player intends to apply to take part in the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme to substitute the final match of the 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, 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.