Kane Thompson (Samoa) has been suspended for two weeks (two matches) after being ordered off by referee John Lacey for striking an opponent, Saia Faingaa, in Samoa’s match against the Barbarians at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, on 29 August. Thompson, who accepted that he did commit the act of foul play which resulted in the red card, was suspended by independent judicial officer Simon Thomas (Wales) at a hearing in London on 2 September in accordance with the World Rugby disciplinary process set out in Regulation 17. Having conducted a detailed review of all the evidence available, including all broadcast angles, testimony from the player and the referee in addition to submissions from Thompson’s counsel, Richard Berry, the judicial officer deemed the foul play to be low-end (which has an entry point of two weeks).
The judicial officer determined that there were no aggravating factors. As regards mitigating factors, he determined that the player was not entitled to a reduction for mitigation due to a similar previous striking incident in December 2014 which led to a one-week suspension. Accordingly, the player was suspended for two weeks (two matches). In the context of his playing schedule Thompson is suspended for Samoa’s final warm-up match against Wasps in Coventry on 5 September and Samoa’s first Rugby World Cup 2015 match against the United States in Brighton on 20 September.
Therefore, the player may resume playing on 21 September and is free to play in Samoa’s second Pool B match against South Africa in Birmingham on 26 September. The player has 48 hours in which to appeal from the time the full written decision is made available to him.