The rules and regulations regarding red cards can be punished in a variety of ways, depending on the severity and nature of the offence.

What Happens If A Player Is Sent Off In The Six Nations?

Red cards are surprisingly rare during the Six Nations, but a change in rules has made this more unlikely to continue. Sanctions are generally harsher, depending on the nature of the offence, with player safety at the forefront of the regulations in order to reduce the potential of any serious injury.

If a player is sent off during the Six Nations, the referee who gave him his marching orders has to prepare a report for the disciplinary officer.

The player will then appear before a three-person hearing. Two of the panel will include former international players, referees or coaches, in order to give more rugby knowledge to the panel who might better understand the circumstances and situation of the offence.

Red card hearings will be on the Tuesday following a Saturday match. Therfore, players will not miss a game they might normally have played in if they are found not guilty. Most parties will attend, but video links can be used.

Since 2015 the regulations regarding head injuries have been tightened up. Any offence that involves an injury to the head will likely be sanctioned by a red card, with multiple match bans potentially making the player miss the rest of the tournament.

A 2017 review devised the current regulations, including the following: a punch to the head of an opponent has a mid-entry punishment of four weeks and dangerous tackles over shoulder height carry bans of between two weeks and a year. Endangering an opponent with any other serious foul play also carries the punishment of a red card.

Player representatives can appeal for reduced bans through good disciplinary records and contrition.

Peter O’Mahony sent off against Wales

Dangerous hit: Peter O’Mahony was the latest player to be sent off in the Six Nations (Getty Images)

Players to be sent off in the Six Nations

Walter Cristofoletto (Italy) – 2000

Alessandro Troncon (Italy) – 2001

Scott Murray (Scotland) – 2006

Rabah Slimani (France) – 2014

Michelle Rozzo (Italy) – 2014

Stuart Hogg (Scotland) – 2014

Manu Tuilagi (England) – 2020

Mohammed Haouas (France) – 2020

Peter O’Mahony (Ireland) – 2021

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