Skip to main content

Independent disciplinary update: Scott Barrett (New Zealand)

Independent disciplinary update: Scott Barrett (New Zealand)

New Zealand's Scott Barrett appeared before an independent Judicial Committee on Monday, 28 August having received a red card in New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup 2023 warm-up match against South Africa on 25 August 2023. The red card was awarded following the receipt of two yellow cards.

The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Sir James Dingemans (England), joined by former international player Olly Kohn (Wales) and former referee Valeriu Toma (Romania).

The Committee found that Appendix 4 of Regulation 17 requires the Judicial Committee to apply a sanction for the offence of persistent offending, not for the substantive offences relating to each yellow card (see Regulation 17, Appendix 4, at B.1).

The full written decision can be found here.

Appendix 4 at B 2(c) provides that: “The … judicial committee may decide that sending off was sufficient … in the following circumstances … (c) any of the temporary suspensions were awarded for so-called technical offences (including following a team warning) not involving a breach of laws 9.11 to 9.28 inclusive.”

The independent Judicial Committee found that sending off was a sufficient sanction in this case because the player was sent off for two yellow cards (referred to as temporary suspensions in the appendix), and the first  of those yellow cards was for a technical offence following a team warning.

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

Click here to watch the video that explains how rugby’s disciplinary process works.

Visit World Rugby’s dedicated disciplinary process education and information page here.

World Rugby statement: Dave Rennie and Rugby Australia

World Rugby Logo

World Rugby can confirm that it has issued a written warning to Rugby Australia and Rugby Australia’s men’s 15s head coach Dave Rennie for comments made immediately after Australia’s final Autumn Nations Series match against Wales in Cardiff on 20 November.

Match officials are the backbone of the sport, and without them there is no game. World Rugby condemns any public criticism of their selection, performance or integrity which undermines or threatens their role, the trust-based coach-officials feedback process, and more importantly, the values that are at the heart of the sport and must be upheld.

Independent misconduct hearing update: Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby

World Rugby Logo


An independent misconduct committee has found that behaviour displayed by SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus towards match officials during this year’s test series between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions constituted misconduct.

The committee was chaired by Christopher Quinlan QC, together with Nigel Hampton QC and Judge Mike Mika (both New Zealand).

World Rugby establishes dedicated Women’s Player Welfare Steering Group

World Rugby Logo

World Rugby has announced the establishment of a dedicated women’s player welfare steering group that will exclusively focus on the advancement of player welfare initiatives and interventions designed specifically for the women’s game at all levels.

Women’s rugby is growing globally at a rapid pace and, in line with its strategy to cement rugby as the most progressive sport on player welfare, World Rugby is committed to ensuring a dedicated focus on women’s welfare advancement, and not just replicate or adopt measures in place for the men’s game. This approach also supports the approach outlined in the transformational 2017-25 Women’s Plan.

World Rugby Amends game's laws to allow all players to wear leggings

Premiership Rugby Logo

Players will be able wear tights or leggings in matches at all levels of the sport after the World Rugby Executive Committee approved an amendment to the laws of the game.

Currently only permissible for women, Law Four will be extended to all participants with immediate effect, enabling the wearing of conforming tights or leggings on the grounds of player welfare and accessibility.

Players, unions and competitions support new guidelines for rugby contact training load

World Rugby Logo
  • Best-practice contact training load guidelines aim to reduce injury risk while maintaining or improving performance
  • New guidelines set out advised weekly limits for full contact training (15 minutes), controlled contact (40 minutes) and live set piece (30 minutes) training
  • Guidelines follow global consultation, including feedback from almost 600 players across elite men’s and women’s competitions, and input from leading strength and conditioning, medical and performance experts
  • They will be underpinned by a review and research programme to drive continuous learning and improvement, and to encourage consistent application across the professional game
  • Guidelines and follow-up research welcomed by players, national unions, global competitions
  • Elite teams, including Leinster, Clermont Auvergne and Benetton Treviso, have signed up to a trial measuring their training and match contact using instrumented mouthguards to monitor effectiveness and inform future advancements

World Rugby partnering with unions and regions to grow the sport

World Rugby Logo
  • Participation is one of the three core pillars of World Rugby’s strategic plan launched in April
  • Plan is focused on empowering the 128 member unions and six regions by increasing their capacity and capability
  • Ambition to increase the total global playing population to over 10 million by 2025
  • In line with strategic commitment to grow the women’s game, this plan aims to increase active female players by a further 10 per cent
  • Successful Get into Rugby and Impact Beyond programmes to be expanded

Katie Sadleir appointed new CGF Chief Executive Officer


The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) are delighted to announce that Katie Sadleir has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The New Zealander will take up the position from her current role at World Rugby, where she is the General Manager of Women’s Rugby. 

Independent Concussion Consultants to be introduced to support Graduated Return to Play process in elite rugby

World Rugby Logo

World Rugby has announced details of a major programme that will further objective care of elite players returning to play following a confirmed concussion.

Starting this month, a panel of Independent Concussion Consultants (ICC) will be made available to the game to provide independent expert opinion on whether a player should return to play following the successful completion of the six-stage Graduated Return to Play process for elite competitions. The panel of ICC experts will be funded by World Rugby.

World Rugby to protect officials and players from online abuse during Rugby World Cup 2023

World Rugby to protect officials and players from online abuse during Rugby World Cup 2023
  • World Rugby is partnering with Signify Group to protect its online community and take action against hate speech and abuse
  • Core wellbeing service will operate across all match officials and teams at Rugby World Cup 2023 
  • World Rugby sending a clear zero-tolerance statement that online abuse will be monitored and action taken where necessary
  • Wellbeing of participants a priority for World Rugby and its national unions

World Rugby has today announced that it will implement transformative measures to protect all match day officials and team squad players from online abuse during Rugby World Cup France 2023.

The move underpins World Rugby's wider commitment to promote and protect the sport’s values and Rugby World Cup 2023’s mantra as the sport’s greatest celebration of togetherness, driving positive change.

World Rugby is partnering with data science company Signify Group who will use its AI-driven Threat Matrix service to put an online protective shield around all tournament match officials, players and coaches. The service will include:

  • Proactive real-time monitoring from open-source data on key platforms including X [formerly Twitter] and Instagram across the tournament
  • Coverage in over 30 languages including images and emojis
  • Daily reporting of abusive content and accounts to platforms to ensure appropriate action is taken
  • Expedite abusive content take-down/sanctioning of account holders - where platform community guidelines are evidenced to have been broken
  • Provide evidence to national associations to ban individuals from domestic and international rugby events 
  • Most egregious cases have the potential to be reported to relevant law enforcement agencies and an ability to unmask the worst abusers who hide behind ‘fake’ accounts.

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “Rugby is a sport for everyone and we take our responsibility very seriously to make the sport as inclusive, accessible and relevant as possible. This includes sending a strong message that online hate simply will not be tolerated, tackling abuse and harmful content with meaningful action."

World Rugby Chief Communications Officer Dominic Rumbles added: “Doing everything we can to set a good example and protect players and match officials is important to World Rugby and our unions, and extending that welfare to the arena of social media is both logical and timely.

"Abuse, on or off the field, has no place in our game and today's announcement shows just how focused we are in tackling online hate aimed at the rugby family – working in partnership with proven experts Signify. This development also reflects our wider tournament goals to drive positive change and celebrate togetherness and unity; all part of a wider journey that World Rugby is very much focused on delivering.”

Jonathan Hirshler, CEO of Signify Group, said: “We are delighted to be working with World Rugby to help create a safer online space to ensure officials and players can be 100 per cent focused on their on-field responsibilities, and not be distracted and potentially harmed by vile online abuse. More and more sporting bodies are starting to take this issue seriously and it is great to be working with World Rugby where welfare is so core to its philosophy, in a sport built on respect, to drive positive change.”

Independent disciplinary update: George Moala (Tonga)

Independent disciplinary update: George Moala (Tonga)

Tonga centre George Moala’s appeal against the decision of a Judicial Committee to suspend him for five matches arising from an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.18 (lifting tackle) in Tonga’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Canada on 10 August, 2023, was heard remotely on 24 August, 2023.

The independent Appeal Committee was chaired by Christopher Quinlan KC (independent Judicial Panel Chairman), Brenda Heather-Latu (Samoa) and Judge Mike Mika (New Zealand).

The Appeal Committee dismissed the player’s appeal against the entry point of the offending. Having considered the evidence before it, the Appeal Committee found that the Judicial Committee which heard the case at first instance was entitled to find that the tackle warranted a mid-range entry point and accordingly upheld the decision of the Disciplinary Committee.

As Moala has been selected in the Tonga Rugby World Cup 2023 squad the suspension remains as imposed by the Judicial Committee and therefore the player will miss the following matches:

  • Tonga v Canada – 15 August, 2023
  • Clermont Auvergne v Perpignan – 26 August, 2023
  • Ireland v Tonga – 16 September, 2023
  • Scotland v Tonga – 24 September, 2023
  • South Africa v Tonga – 1 October, 2023

The full written decision will appear here once available.

World Rugby and International Rugby Players launch global brain health education campaign

World Rugby Logo
  • New Brain Health Initiative reflects commitment to educate and support current and former elite players who might be concerned about their wellbeing and brain health 
  • Global initiative includes new videos featuring leading independent experts outlining 12 modifiable risk factors for dementia and how rugby can play a positive role in reducing many of these 
  • Campaign launched at World Rugby Medical Commission Conference as part of World Rugby’s ongoing engagement with member unions, local healthcare authorities and brain health experts to advance player welfare across the rugby family 

ChildFund Rugby works to tackle gender inequality in Oceania

World Rugby Logo

ChildFund Rugby’s partnership with World Rugby in the build-up to and during Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan created an outstanding legacy for the region where thousands more Asian girls and women are active in the sport in a safer and more inclusive environment.

World Rugby launches Tackle Ready to educate players on safe tackle technique

World Rugby Logo
  • New programme forms key head injury prevention initiative within World Rugby’s six-point player welfare advancement strategy 
  • All coaches at all levels will have access to a five-stage framework for coaching effective technique that promotes prevention
  • World Rugby and national unions currently examining tackle height limits in key closed trials to aid welfare outcomes

World Rugby unveils six-point plan to cement ambition to be the most progressive sport on player welfare

RFL Logo
  • Former players, current players and a specific focus on the women’s game at the heart of six-point action plan developed by the game, for the game
  • World Rugby to continue to engage, listen and consult to secure the future growth of the game – everyone in the game will have a say and role to play
  • First series of initiatives include new global law trials with a continued focus on player welfare, introduced from 1 August; and the introduction of Independent Concussion Consultants to support the elite game’s Graduated Return to Play protocols
  • World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont addresses rugby family in open letter

Welfare-focused rugby law trials to be implemented globally

World Rugby Logo
  • Rugby united in its ongoing commitment to enhance welfare outcomes
  • Five welfare-focused trials to be adopted globally from 1 August, 2021
  • Truly collaborative process has involved players, coaches, competitions and medics
  • Players and competitions welcome trial
  • Outcomes will be evaluated in 2022 in inform decision on adoption into law

World Rugby appoints Nigel Cass as Competitions Director as Mark Egan bids farewell

World Rugby Logo

World Rugby has announced the appointment of Nigel Cass as Competitions Director, heading up a new Competitions Department within an organisational restructure of the rugby functions of the international federation following the confirmation earlier in the year that Mark Egan will leave the organisation after 18 years to pursue new challenges.

Upcoming Events