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Springboks sub Thomas du Toit banned for his 'reckless' red card

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Springboks sub Thomas du Toit has been banned following his red-carded collision with England’s Luke Cowan-Dickie last Saturday. The replacement tighthead had only just come on during the second half of the Autumn Nations Series finale at Twickenham when his shoulder crashed into the English hooker’s head, foul play that resulted in his sending-off by referee Angus Gardner.

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The swift departure of du Toit didn’t impact the result as the dominating Springboks went on to secure a comfortable 27-13 win despite playing the final 19 minutes with 14 men. They combatted the loss of du Toit by replacing winger Makazole Mapimpi with Frans Malherbe, the starting prop that the Springboks sub had come on for.

With the international series now over, du Toit will serve his resulting three-match ban back at the Durban-based Sharks, a suspension that will last just two weeks if the front row forward successfully completes the tackle school programme.

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A statement read: “Springboks replacement front row Thomas du Toit appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to law 9.13 in South Africa’s match against England on November 26.

“The independent disciplinary committee chaired by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland), joined by former international coach Frank Hadden (Scotland) and former international referee Donal Courtney (Ireland), heard the case and considered all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and his representative.

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“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 top-range territory.

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“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 to be served given the player’s upcoming schedule:

  • December 2 – Sharks vs Ospreys – United Rugby Championship;
  • December 10 – Sharks vs Harlequins – Heineken Champions Cup;
  • December 16 – Bordeaux vs Sharks – Heineken Champions Cup.

“The player 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.”

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