Cape Town - World Rugby has stated that no action will be taken against the New Zealand sevens team despite them fielding an extra player against Australia in Sydney last weekend.
World Rugby on Thursday concluded its investigation into an alleged breach of Law 3 by the All Blacks Sevens team.
Law 3.2 provides for the sanction of a penalty kick where a team fields more than the maximum number of players. The referee, Craig Joubert, was not aware of the additional New Zealand player on the pitch prior to the conclusion of the match.
“The investigation, undertaken by the designated disciplinary official, has determined that, while New Zealand did field eight players, it was an inadvertent breach as a consequence of a number of factors relating to the management of replacements involving a number of parties,” World Rugby said via a press statement.
“World Rugby’s misconduct process caters for unsporting actions, cheating and ill-discipline (amongst other behaviours) which are at a level that bring or have the potential to bring the game into disrepute. Having fully investigated the incident, the designated disciplinary officer has concluded that the laying of a misconduct charge is not appropriate or warranted given the circumstances as the threshold had not, in his determination, been met.
“While such incidents are rare, World Rugby is committed to ensuring that there is no such repetition on the series and will ensure that all teams and officials pay particular attention to the process of replacement management.”
While they had eight players on the field, the Kiwis scored a late try to sneak a 17-all draw in the pool-stage match.
New Zealand went on to win the Sydney Sevens after scoring another stoppage-time try in the final against Australia. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 8! (Fox Sports)