France second row Sebastien Vahaamahina has learned his punishment for receiving a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.12 (striking) in his country’s World Cup quarter-final loss to Wales last Sunday in Oita.


Vahaamahina participated in a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo by video-conference from Marcoussis, France, on Thursday before an independent judicial committee chaired by Mike Hamlin (England) joined by former international players David Croft (Australia) and Leon Lloyd (England).

Vahaamahina admitted the act of foul play, that he had intentionally contacted with the head of an opponent, Aaron Wainwright, and accepted that it warranted a red card.

The committee considered that the terms of high tackle sanction framework were relevant and accepted the player’s admission that:

  • There was a strike;
  • There was direct contact between the player’s elbow and Wainwright’s jaw;
  • There are no mitigating factors.

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The committee upheld the red card and considered this to be top-end offending. This resulted in a starting point of a 10-week suspension.

Taking into account the mitigating factors that are considered in relation to sanction, including the player’s early and full acknowledgement of his conduct and prompt apology to his opponent, the committee reduced the 10-week entry point by four weeks, resulting in a sanction of six weeks.


Vahaamahina will miss his next six matches with his club Clermont and will only be free to play again on December 16.

The sanction means that along with missing a number of Top 14 matches, he will also sit out Clermont’s opening four Champions Cup games versus Harlequins, Ulster and Bath (two).

WATCH: Referee Jaco Peyper pays a semi-final price for ‘inappropriate’ photo following the France-Wales quarter-final 

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