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World Rugby disciplinary process

Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan was the first to feature World Rugby's enhanced disciplinary process, launched after a full review of England 2015 and designed to achieve alignment with the match officials and a stronger emphasis on ‘rugby empathetic’ outcomes.

The tournament had three-person judicial committees comprising of an experienced judicial chair and two other members drawn from a panel of former international coaches, players and referees including former Scotland coach Frank Hadden, South Africa star Stefan Terblanche, England’s Leon Lloyd and referee of 19 tests, Ireland’s Donal Courtney.

The process adopted the revised sanctions table launched in 2017 and disciplinary personnel received game-wide education to drive consistency across citing, judicial and match official environments. There were regular calibration sessions between citing commissioners, judicial personnel and match officials in order to achieve alignment on game trends, law application emphasis and consistency.

Rugby World Cup 2019 - citing process

A citing commissioner from a neutral country was appointed for each of the tournament's 48 matches. The citing commissioner reviewed the match live with access to all the available angles and Hawk-Eye multi-camera feeds.

The citing window operated until 36 hours after the conclusion of the match, with teams able to refer incidents of alleged foul play to the citing commissioner for review within 12 hours of the conclusion of the match. Only the citing commissioner has the power to cite a player. 

Disciplinary hearings were convened within 48 hours of the match in order not to adversely impact on team preparation and decisions published immediately on conclusion.

Disciplinary Decisions

Date

Team

Player

Tournament

Offence

Sanction

Further
information

30 Nov 2019 Tonga Paula Ngauamo RWC 2019 Supplementary decision on sanction 7 weeks  
20 Oct 2019  France  Sebastien Vahaamahina RWC 2019  9.12 (striking) 6 weeks Press release
Written decision
14 Oct 2019  Uruguay  Guillermo Pujadas RWC 2019  9.27 (unsportsmanlike conduct)  6 weeks  Press release
Written decision
14 Oct 2019  Tonga  Paula Ngauamo RWC 2019  9.12 (kicking)  7 weeks  Press release
Written decision
Supplementary decision
13 Oct 2019  Ireland  Bundee Aki RWC 2019  9.13 (dangerous tackle)  3 weeks  Press release
Written decision
9 Oct 2019  Canada  Josh Larsen RWC 2019   9.20 (dangerous play in a ruck or maul) 3 weeks Press release
Written decision
5 Oct 2019  Argentina  Tomas Lavanini RWC 2019  9.13 (dangerous tackle) 4 weeks  Press release
Written decision
5 Oct 2019  Italy  Nicola Quaglio RWC 2019  9.18 (lifting tackle) 3 weeks Press release
Written decision
5 Oct 2019  Italy  Andrea Lovotti RWC 2019  9.18 (lifting tackle) 3 weeks Press release
Written decision
3 Oct 2019  Uruguay  Facundo Gattas RWC 2019  Appeal against three-week sanction Appeal dismissed Press release
Written decision
1 Oct 2019  Samoa  Motu Matu'u RWC 2019  Appeal against three-week sanction Appeal dismissed Press release
Written decision
30 Sep 2019  Samoa  Ed Fidow RWC 2019  Red card (two yellow cards) Red card sufficient  Press release
Written decision
29 Sep 2019  Uruguay  Facundo Gattas RWC 2019  9.13 (dangerous high tackle) 3 weeks Press release
Written decision
27 Sep 2019  England  Piers Francis RWC 2019  9.13 (dangerous high tackle) Citing not upheld Press release
Written decision
26 Sep 2019  USA  John Quill RWC 2019   9.13 (dangerous high tackle) 3 weeks Press release
Written decision
25 Sep 2019  Samoa  Rey Lee-Lo RWC 2019  9.13 (dangerous high tackle) 3 weeks  Press release
Written decision
25 Sep 2019  Samoa  Motu Matu'u RWC 2019  9.13 (dangerous high tackle) 3 weeks  Press release
Written decision

Written decision variation
25 Sep 2019  Samoa  Ed Fidow RWC 2019  9.12 (punching or striking) CCW CCW

22 Sep 2019

 Australia

 Reece Hodge

RWC 2019

 9.13 (dangerous tackle)

3 weeks Press release
Written decision
22 Sep 2019  Argentina  Matías Moroni RWC 2019  9.27 (hair-pulling) CCW CCW

8 Sep 2019

 Namibia

 Pieter-Jan Van Lill

RWC warm-up

 9.12 (Striking)

3 weeks

Press release
Written decision

20 Aug 2019

 France

 Paul Gabrillagues

RWC warm-up

 9.20

3 weeks

Press release
Written decision

Decisions

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