Scotland duo ruled out of World Cup
Scotland takes on Australia in the RWC quarter-finals this weekend
Vern Cotter will be without Ross Ford and Jonny Gray after they were handed three-week bans
The players have 48 hours to appeal
Vern Cotter will be without forwards Ross Ford and Jonny Gray for the rest of the World Cup after they were both handed three-week bans for dangerous tackles against Samoa.
The suspension would mean the pair would be banned not just for the quarter-finals but the semi-final and final if Scotland were to progress.
The players now have 48 hours in which to appeal the decision.
Scotland says they “will consider carefully the full written judgement before making a decision”.
Cotter’s Dark Blues’ face Pool A winners Australia at Twickenham on Saturday with a place in the final four at stake but now will be without two influential members of their pack, unless they choose to appeal.
World Rugby’s statement on the case said: “Tackles involving a player being lifted off the ground and tipped horizontally, and were then either forced or dropped to the ground, must be dealt with severely by match officials and all those involved in the disciplinary process.
“With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point, namely four weeks.
“The Judicial Officer added one week for aggravation due to the need to deter this type of dangerous foul play.
“However, taking into account mitigating factors including the players’ conduct prior to and at the hearing, their expressions of regret, exemplary characters and excellent disciplinary records, the Judicial Officer reduced the suspension to a period of three weeks in respect of each player.
“In the context of Rugby World Cup, three weeks equates to three matches and therefore neither player will be available to play for the remainder of Rugby World Cup 2015.
“Any remaining sanction not applied in the tournament context will revert to weeks for the players’ respective club fixtures.”