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Samoa suffer big blow ahead of England clash

DISCIPLINARY NEWS: Samoa wing Ben Lam will miss his team’s World Cup pool clash against England on Saturday.

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Lam has been suspended following the red card he received during Samoa’s defeat to Japan in the Pool D match.

The wing was initially handed a yellow card when his shoulder connected with the head of Japan back row Lappies Labuschagne while making a tackle.

However, it was upgraded to red following a review from the TMO bunker.

World Rugby confirmed on Monday, Lam attended an independent disciplinary committee hearing for an offence contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle).

During the hearing, he accepted that foul play had occurred and that the offence warranted a red card.

The committee, chaired by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland),  former international referee Donal Courtney (Ireland) and former international player John Langford (Australia), noted that the offence carries a mandatory minimum mid-range sanction (six matches).

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However, they considered the mitigating factors, including admission of foul play and correctness of the red card at the first opportunity, an exemplary disciplinary record, an apology to the player and good character, reduced the sanction by the maximum mitigation of 50 percent.

He has been banned for three matches but can be reduced to two after the successful completion of the Coaching Intervention Programme.

The three matches are to be applied as follows:

England v Samoa – October 7
WC 2023 quarterfinal should Samoa qualify or Montpellier v Racing 92 – October 29
WC 2023 semifinal should Samoa qualify or Bordeaux v Montpellier – November 4

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