Independent Judicial Committee decision: Rugby World Cup 2023 European qualifying

An independent judicial committee considering a potential breach of Regulation 8 (eligibility for a national team) has determined that Spain fielded an ineligible player during two Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification matches and has imposed a 10-point deduction and a financial sanction.

In respect of the sanction, the independent committee, comprising Nigel Hampton QC (Chair), Pamela Woodman and Frank Hadden, imposed the following:

The deduction of five points for each of the two matches in which the ineligible player was fielded by the Spanish union (10 points in total).

World Rugby Regulation 8 stipulates mandatory financial penalties for breaches of the regulation. The committee imposed the fixed sanction of £25,000 and noted that a suspended sanction of £50,000 relating to a previous eligibility breach during qualification for Rugby World Cup 2019 would be payable.

Subject to Spain’s right of appeal, the 10-point deduction applied to the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification table means that Romania will qualify as Europe 2 into Pool B replacing Spain, and Portugal will replace Romania in the Final Qualification Tournament in November 2022.

Spain has a right of appeal within 14 days of the date of the full written decision of the committee.

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