World Rugby has confirmed an experienced disciplinary team for Rugby World Cup 2015, underscoring its commitment to the clear and consistent application of the disciplinary process and rules at rugby’s showcase event.
Selected on merit, the team representing 11 nations comprises 11 citing commissioners, 10 judicial officers and four appeal officers, who will preside over all disciplinary matters concerning on-field acts of foul play and any misconduct matters that might arise.
Citing commissioners: James Absaloms (Kenya), Freek Burger (South Africa), Steve Hinds (New Zealand), Douglas Hunter (Scotland), Bruce Kuklinski (Canada), Peter Larter (England), Scott Nowland (Australia), Mike Rafter (England), Yves Thieffine (France), Maurizio Vancini (Italy), Murray Whyte (Ireland).
Judicial officers: Prof. Lorne Crerar (Scotland), Adam Casselden (Australia), Jean-Noël Couraud (France), Antony Davies (England), Alan Hudson (Canada), Sheriff Kathrine Mackie (Scotland), Roger Morris (Wales), Christopher Quinlan QC (England), Simon Thomas (Wales), Terry Willis (Australia).
Appeal officers: Justice Lex Mpati (South Africa), Justice Sir James Dingemans (England), Justice Graeme Mew (Canada), Rod McKenzie (Scotland).
In addition, Justice Douglas White (recently retired as a judge of the New Zealand Court of Appeal) has been appointed for a third consecutive Rugby World Cup as the Disputes Panel Chairman, to deal with any breaches of the tournament terms of participation applicable to teams.
The selection of the team is the result of a detailed pathway programme implemented by World Rugby. Under the programme, candidates from across the rugby world were invited to be considered for selection for England 2015. With the full support of their national unions, interested persons had domestic, cross border and international appointments as citing commissioners and judicial personnel evaluated and assessed.
The final selection was made by the World Rugby Judicial Panel Chairman, Tim Gresson (New Zealand), in conjunction with the World Rugby Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, following a two-day disciplinary workshop in London in April.
Lapasset said: “World Rugby is committed to the highest-possible standards of clear and consistent application of the rugby-specific disciplinary process and the selection of this high-calibre disciplinary team on merit underscores our intent. Rugby continues to experience record growth across every continent and a strong and robust disciplinary programme is key to a successful Rugby World Cup tournament and indeed for the image of rugby as a whole.”
All of the citing commissioners will be based at the international broadcast centre where they will have access to every camera angle of every match. They will, like the television match officials, be using the Hawkeye technology to view and review all angles of any incident arising.
RWCL has the right to appeal any decision imposed under the tournament disciplinary programme.
All disciplinary hearings at first instance shall be heard by a judicial officer sitting alone. Appeal will be heard by a three-person appeal committee chaired by an appeal officer.
There is a right of appeal in every case by the player, union and/or RWCL.
The judicial officers can also sit as appeal officers on appeal committees and vice versa.
All disciplinary hearings will be held at the offices of Clifford Chance LLP, the official law firm of Rugby World Cup 2015.