We explain the rules and regulations regarding sending-offs in this piece.

What Happens If A Player Is Sent Off In The World Cup?

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is probably not going to be immune from the red mist as their is usually a red card shown throughout each tournament. But what exactly happens when a player is sent off? We take a look below.

There have been 17 players sent off in Rugby World Cups, with Welsh lock Huw Richards the first when he was dismissed for punching in Wales 1987 semi-final against New Zealand. Richards never played Test rugby again.

James Dalton, the South Africa hooker, was sent off against Canada in 1995 and missed the semi-final and final, and the Canadians Gareth Rees and Rod Snow were also dismissed for their part in a massive brawl in that match in Port Elizabeth.

The most significant dismissal was probably Sam Warburton’s in Wales’ semi-final against France in Auckland in 2011. Warburton was sent off for a tip tackle on French wing Vincent Clerc after 18 minutes and Wales lost 9-8.

If a player is sent off at the World Cup in Japan 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 of which two will be former international players, referees or coaches to give more rugby knowledge to the panel. This has been introduced since the 2015 World Cup.

The hearings for red cards, and citings, will usually be heard on the Tuesday following a Saturday match so that 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 so if your offence involves an injury to the head of an opponent, look out, your World Cup could be over.

The current regulations were drawn up in a 2017 review and include 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.

Representatives of players can then argue the toss about good disciplinary records, contrition and the rest to get any ban reduced but your best bet is to keep out of trouble. Red cards cost in World Cups, just ask Dalton.

Follow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features. Also make sure you know about the GroupsWarm-upsDatesFixturesVenuesTV CoverageQualified Teams by clicking on the highlighted links.

Finally, don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.