All Blacks prop Ethan de Groot suspended for three matches

Ethan de Groot will miss New Zealand's games against Italy and Uruguay
Ethan de Groot will miss New Zealand's games against Italy and Uruguay
©Photo by Pauline Ballet - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

All Blacks prop Ethan de Groot has been handed a three-game ban following his red card incident in the recently concluded Rugby World Cup fixture against Namibia.

He will now miss New Zealand's remainder of Pool games against Italy and Uruguay on 29th September and 5th October respectively. De Groot will be available for his side's quarter-final game if New Zealand qualifies provided he successfully completes the Coaching Intervention Programme.

The 25-year-old was initially sin-binned by referee Luke Pearce in the 71st minute of the game for a dangerous tackle and was later upgraded to a red card following the bunker review system.

The statement from the Independent committee read, “Having considered all the available evidence, including the application of World Rugby’s Head Contact Process, the submissions by the player and his representative, and all available camera angles and technology, the independent Committee determined that:

i) an act of foul play had occurred;
ii) the player had the opportunity to put himself in a position to complete a legal tackle;
iii) the player was in a dynamic tackling position and, as admitted by the player, he was not sufficiently bent at the waist;
iv) that head contact had occurred, and the degree of danger was high;
v) the FPRO’s decision that the tackle was “always illegal” was correct, because of the lack of an attempt to wrap, and therefore mitigation could not be applied in this incident to bring the sanction down from a red card.”

“The Committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play, resulting in head contact, which is six matches.

“However, the Committee granted the prop the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent after de Grot’s “acceptance of an element of foul play and an excellent disciplinary record.”