"Misses England Match" - Samoa Star Ben Lam Banned After Red Card Against Japan - Ruck

“Misses England Match” – Samoa Star Ben Lam Banned After Red Card Against Japan

World Rugby have confirmed the extent of Ben Lam’s suspension, after the Samoa winger was shown a red card in Thursday’s defeat against Japan. Lam will serve a three match ban, and will play no part in Saturday’s Pool D match against England.

Lam was initially shown a yellow card for his high tackle on Japan’s Pieter Labuschagne. He was sent to the off-field bunker system, with the offence later upgraded to a red card. The former New Zealand Sevens star accepted that foul play took place, which helped reduce his overall ban.

World Rugby released a statement, discussing Lam’s suspension and the mitigating circumstances that dropped the ban from six to three matches.

“Samoa’s Ben Lam attended an independent Disciplinary Committee hearing for an offence contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) as a result of a review by the Foul Play Review Official in Samoa’s Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool D match against Japan on Thursday, 28 September.

“The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Roddy Dunlop KC (Scotland), joined by former international referee Donal Courtney (Ireland) and former international player John Langford (Australia).

“The player accepted that foul play had occurred and that the offence warranted a red card.

“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 and correctness of the red card at the first opportunity, an exemplary disciplinary record, apology to the player and good character, reduced the sanction by the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent.”

As Samoa currently sit at fourth in Pool D, the odds are certainly stacked against them for a spot in the quarter-finals. However, should the Pacific Islanders progress, Lam will miss out on any knock-out stage action until the Rugby World Cup Final. More realistically, Lam will instead miss out on Montpellier’s matches against Racing 92 and Bordeaux-Begles, when he returns to his Top 14 club.