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Three-week ban for Josh Larsen after red card against Boks

Josh Larsen attended a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo before an independent judicial committee on Thursday following a dangerous cleanout on Springbok prop Thomas du Toit.

A screengrab of Canada lock Josh Larsen apologising to the Springboks for his tackle on Thomas du Toit during their Rugby World Cup match on 8 October 2019 in Kobe, Japan.

CAPE TOWN - Canada lock and Josh Larsen has been banned for three weeks following his red card for an act of foul play against South Africa on Tuesday in Kobe.

Larsen attended a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo before an independent judicial committee on Thursday following a dangerous cleanout on Springbok prop Thomas du Toit. He was sent off in the 35th minute of the match which South Africa won 66-7.

The lock admitted to the foul play, that he had made contact with his opponent’s head and neck and accepted that it warranted a red card.

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

  • There was a shoulder charge

  • There was direct contact of the player’s left shoulder to his opponent’s head and neck

  • There are no mitigating factors

The committee upheld the red card and applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point, which was introduced in 2017 to protect player welfare, deter high contact and prevent head injuries. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.

"Taking into account the mitigating factors that are considered in relation to sanction, including the player’s clean disciplinary record, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks," said Rugby World Cup official statement.

Larsen will miss Canada’s final pool match at Rugby World Cup against Namibia on 13 October and his first two matches for his new club New England Free Jacks in the 2020 Major League Rugby season.

He is free to play again on 16 February 2020.

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