Disciplinary update: John Quill (USA)

USA flanker John Quill appeared before an independent judicial committee in Tokyo on Friday.

TOKYO, 27 Sep – USA flanker John Quill appeared before an independent judicial committee having received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) in USA’s Rugby World Cup 2019 match against England on 26 September.

The committee, chaired by Nigel Hampton QC (New Zealand) with former international coach Frank Hadden (Scotland) and former international match official Valeriu Toma (Romania), heard the case, considering all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and his representative.

The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. In determining the sanction, the committee deemed that:

  • There was an act of foul play (which was reckless, rather than deliberate)
  • The act of foul play was a shoulder charge
  • There was contact with the head
  • There was a high degree of danger; and
  • There were not sufficient mitigating factors to reduce the sanction from a red card to a yellow card

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

Having acknowledged Quill’s good character and conduct at the hearing, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks, which equates to three matches in the context of the Rugby World Cup.

Quill will miss USA’s three remaining pool matches (against France, Argentina and Tonga) at Rugby World Cup 2019. The suspension will end at midnight on 13 October, after which time he is free to resume playing.

The player has the right to appeal the decision within 48 hours of receiving the full written decision. The short form decision is available here and the long form decision can be read here when available.

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