France second-rower Sébastien Vahaamahina received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.12 (striking) in France’s Rugby World Cup 2019 quarter-final against Wales last Sunday.
According to the official 2019 Rugby World Cup website, Vahaamahina attended a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo by video conference from Marcoussis, France, on Thursday before an independent Judicial Committee chaired by Mike Hamlin (England) joined by former international players David Croft (Australia) and Leon Lloyd (England).
Vahaamahina admitted the act of foul play, that he had contacted his opponent’s head intentionally and accepted that it warranted a red card.
The committee considered that the terms of High Tackle Sanction Framework were relevant and accepted the player’s admission that:
– There was a strike
– There was direct contact between the player’s elbow and Aaron Wainwright’s jaw
– There are no mitigating factors
The committee upheld the red card and considered this to be top-end offending. This resulted in a starting point of a 10-week suspension.
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Taking into account the mitigating factors that are considered in relation to sanction, including the player’s early and full acknowledgment of his conduct and prompt apology to his opponent, the committee reduced the 10-week entry point by four weeks, resulting in a sanction of six weeks.
Vahaamahina will miss his next six matches with his French club Clermont Auvergne and is free to play again on December 16, 2019.