Billy Vunipola banned following red card against Ireland


England’s Billy Vunipola appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card/been cited] for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 in the Summer Nations Series match between Ireland and England on Saturday 19th August 2023.

The independent Judicial Committee consisting of Roddy Dunlop KC – Chair (Scotland), Frank Hadden (Scotland), and Jamie Corsi (Wales) heard the case, considering all the available evidence and submissions from the player and his representative.

The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card.

On that basis, the Committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.

Having acknowledged mitigating factors including his exemplary previous record, immediate apology, and remorse, and noted the absence of any aggravating factors, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks (to be served as the following given the player’s upcoming schedule):

England v Fiji – 26 August 2023
England v Argentina – 9 September 2023
England v Japan – 17 September 2023

Vunipola may apply to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme to substitute the final match of his/her sanction for a coaching intervention aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play.

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