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All Blacks prop Ethan de Groot learns fate after red card

By Finn Morton
Ethan de Groot looks on for the All Blacks. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Prop Ethan de Groot will miss the All Blacks’ decisive Rugby World Cup clash with Italy later this month after receiving a multi-game ban for a high tackle.


De Groot will miss Tests against the Azzurri and Uruguay to round out pool play, but will be able to available for a potential quarter-final if he completes the Coaching Intervention Programme.

Playing against Namibia in Toulouse last week, de Groot was shown a yellow card in the 72nd minute following a high shot on backrower Adriaan Booysen. The incident was upgraded to a red following an off-field review.

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The All Blacks got their Rugby World Cup campaign back on track with a comfortable 71-3 win at Stade de Toulouse, but the red card to de Groot was concerning.

It was later confirmed that de Groot would appear in front of an independent Disciplinary Committee which was chaired by Brenda Heather-Latu (Samoa) and joined by former players John Langford (Australia) and Jamie Corsi (Wales).

De Groot told the Committee that he’d “committed an act of foul play” according to a World Rugby statement, “but maintained that the red card threshold had not been met.”

The independent Committee decided that the “degree of danger was high” and that de Groot had “put himself in a position to complete a legal tackle.”

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It was determined that de Groot hadn’t made a genuine attempt to wrap his arms, so no mitigation could be applied to downgrade the incident from a red card.

De Groot has the right to appeal this decision within 48 hours of the verdict.


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David 303 days ago

well at least he will get to watch his tackle on tv for a couple of weeks and learn not what to do

Thomas 303 days ago

Might be a blessing in disguise. De Groot was shockingly bad against France.

CO 303 days ago

Interesting to see the Fijians getting away with lots of stuff up around the head, being referred to by the commentary as 'seatbelt tackles'. Match officials will be asked to police that a lot harder by future opposition.

Jordan Petaia was repeatedly hit around the head and the referees and bunker letting it go. It looks like Ethan's getting banned for the Namibians shoulder dislocation. The ruling makes no sense when compared to the head smashing contact by Curry resulting in the same penalty.

matt 303 days ago

Anyone defending this tackle has to get with the times. He didn't bend at the waist, tucked his arm in and because he was high made direct contact to the end. People like to blame the ball carrier for ducking, but cmon, do you watch rugby? Half the time ball carriers aren't even trying to make the gainline and are basically going straight to deck to protect the ball, so any tackler should expect this, and even if they don't, since when was a shoulder check legal anyway?

Jmann 304 days ago

another appallingly bad and inconsistent decision from the judiciary. Likely it should never have gone beyond yellow. But as always there are no favours for SH teams like there always are for those from the NH

Jon 304 days ago

So him disputing his part in the force (degree of danger) didn’t land him an extra week?

Joseph 304 days ago

I see that a number of ABs went to visit the injured Namibian player in hospital. That's the true spirit of the game and I take my hat off to them. Well done.

Globalmitch 304 days ago

Yeah it's baffling that no mention was made of how the Namibian player lowered his head into De Groot's tackle.

Craig 304 days ago

So how on earth did the French guy get away with it. That looked worse to me. The Namibian lowered his head into an unsafe position I thought also.

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Jon 1 hours ago
British & Irish Lions free agent open to Super Rugby switch

There are a couple of teams who could use a stop gap experienced head. Blues - I’m not sure the Blues have signed a replacement for Caleb Tangitau (if he hasn’t been let go to make room for Barrett) yet, or whether Reiko is going on sabbatical and/or will remain in the squad. With exciting young French player Xavi Taele looking destined for higher honors in black, talented breakthrough rookie Cory Evan’s, and a couple of utilities, in AJ Lam and Bryce Heem(even Clarke?), all trying to learn the midfield trade, Williams could be a great aid. The Blues signed key English center Joe Marchant before he was raised to that level, and were possibly in the hunt to bring back the dependable Tele’a from the Highlanders. Possible the main squeeze which would put to bed any signing here would be the battle at 10 with Beauden’s return, and the forcing of Plummer back into the midfield. Hurricanes - Jordie Barrett is off to Leinster for a sabbatical next year but the more likely signing would be Billy’s brother back in the team. The Hurricanes are light on the outside with the loss of Salesi Rayasi to the Top 14 and if no quality is found to back up Kini Naholo, the midfield of Sullivan or Proctors could find themselves on the wing and space for a leader to show the Hurricanes three All Black midfield hopefuls (Higgins, Proctor, Umaga-Jensen) how its done. Highlanders - Rotation is high as usual at the Highlanders and versatility remains a strength with a lot of the squad. With compatriot Rhys Patchell signing a move to the JRLO, the passing of outside back Connor Garden-Bachop, and confirmed departure of Argentine wing Martin Bogado, the versatility of many of the young backups in the squad could see a veteran 12 like Williams being a strong partner for the robust Tele’a. With hope that the other Umaga-Jensen brother can force him out of the starting lineup, and shifting the sides general Sam Gilbert back into 10, the off-contract midfielder might seen as the perfect option for a squad still looking to fill one back spot.

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