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. The final sanction of three matches is to be applied as follows:

A video explaining the disciplinary process and how it is applied.
  • England v Samoa – 7 October
  • RWC 2023 quarter-final should Samoa qualify or Montpellier v Racing 92 – 29 October
  • RWC 2023 semi-final should Samoa qualify or Bordeaux v Montpellier – 4 November*

*The player intends to apply to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme to substitute the final match of the sanction for a coaching intervention aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play subject to successful completion. Further information can be found here.

The player has the right of appeal within 48 hours of the issuing of the full written decision, which will appear here once published.

Visit’s dedicated disciplinary process education and information page, which includes a video on how rugby’s disciplinary process works.