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Sharks captain learns his fate after red card

NEWS: Sharks captain and Springbok prop Thomas du Toit has been informed of the outcome of his disciplinary hearing, following his red card in the year-end Test against England this past weekend.


Du Toit, a second-half replacement in the 27-13 win over England at Twickenham.

He received a red card for an act of foul play, contrary to Law 9.13: A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.

He faced a disciplinary committee – Chaired by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland), joined by former international coach Frank Hadden (Scotland) and former international referee Donal Courtney (Ireland).

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

Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that this was a reckless, rather than an intentional, incident, which did not require the tackled player to undergo an HIA.

There was nothing that might have taken this into the top-range territory.


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 an early acceptance of culpability and a clean disciplinary record, and that there were no aggravating factors.

The committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks.

Du Toit will miss the Sharks’ encounter with Ospreys (a United Rugby Championship match in Durban on Friday), Harlequins (European Champions Cup) and Bordeaux (Champions Cup).


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

The player has the right of appeal.

(Continue below ..)

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* Meanwhile, French captain Antoine Dupont had his ban reduced, following his red card while playing against South Africa earlier this month.

Dupont appealed his four-match ban and had it reduced to two weeks.

The Appeal Committee decided that Appendix One to World Rugby Regulation 17 does not mandate a minimum entry point of mid-range (eight weeks) for a breach of Law 9.17.

The Appeal Committee concluded that his conduct merited a lower-end entry point, and with an appropriate reduction for mitigation, imposed a sanction of two weeks.

The effect is that the appellant was suspended from the following two matches: France v Japan (November 20) and Lyon v Stade Toulousain (November 27).

Dupont is now free to play.

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