Ireland’s Edel McMahon attended an independent Disciplinary Committee hearing after being  cited for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) in Ireland’s WXV 3 match against Spain on 28 October.

The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Philippe Cavalieros (France), joined by former international coach Frank Hadden (Scotland) and former international referee Val Toma (Romania).

The player accepted that foul play had occurred, but submitted that the contact with the head was indirect, with a low degree of danger and low force.

Having considered all the available evidence, including the application of World Rugby’s Head Contact Process, the submissions by the player and her representatives, and all available camera angles, the independent Committee upheld determined that:

1. there was head contact;
2.  the degree of danger was high;
3.  no mitigation applied;
4.  the citing was therefore upheld

The Committee noted that the offence carries a mandatory minimum mid-range sanction (six matches), and having considered the mitigating factors, including admission of foul play, an exemplary disciplinary record, apology to the player and good character, reduced the sanction by the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent. The sanction is to apply as follows:

  • Exeter Chiefs v Leicester Tigers – 18 November, 2023
  • Exeter Chiefs v Bristol Bears – 25 November, 2023
  • Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks – 2 December, 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 subject to successful completion. 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 can be found  here.

Visit World Rugby’s dedicated disciplinary process education and information page here, which includes a video on how rugby’s disciplinary process works.