Thompson banned for RWC opener

Date published: September 2 2015

Samoa lock Kane Thompson has been banned for two weeks for his punch against the Barbarians, ruling him out of their World Cup opener.

Thompson will miss the opening clash against the USA after he was sent off in Saturday's defeat to the Baabaas at the Olympic Stadium.

The veteran second row was spotted punching Saia Faingaa by the TMO, and pleaded guilty to the offence and has been suspended by independent judicial officer Simon Thomas (Wales) at a hearing in London.

Having conducted a detailed review of all the evidence available, including all broadcast angles, testimony from the player and the referee in addition to submissions from Thompson’s counsel, Richard Berry, the judicial officer deemed the foul play to be low-end (which has an entry point of two weeks).

The judicial officer determined that there were no aggravating factors. As regards mitigating factors, he determined that the player was not entitled to a reduction for mitigation due to a similar previous striking incident in December 2014 which led to a one-week suspension.

Accordingly, the player was suspended for two weeks (two matches). In the context of his playing schedule Thompson is suspended for Samoa’s final warm-up match against Wasps in Coventry on 5 September and Samoa’s first Rugby World Cup 2015 match against the United States in Brighton on 20 September. 

Therefore, the player may resume playing on 21 September and is free to play in Samoa’s second Pool B match against South Africa in Birmingham on 26 September.