RFU Discipline

Discipline is one of the core values of rugby. The RFU Discipline team strives to ensure that rugby is a game of controlled physical endeavour and that it is honest and fair.

The RFU’s disciplinary regime reflects World Rugby Regulation 17. It exists to penalise players whose foul play or misconduct is other than purely accidental, and one of its most important principles is to prevent the risk of injury to other players in a dynamic and physical sport. Players have an obligation to ensure that they do not cause injury to opponents, so there is a presumption that any conduct which is proscribed by World Rugby Law 10 (foul play) merits a sanction.

The RFU Discipline Department deals with foul play and misconduct cases in levels 1-4 of the Game. It also deals with appeals from Constituent Body Disciplinary Panels and other specific cases that the Constituent Body Disciplinary Panels do not have the power to deal with, for example, breaches of World Rugby Regulation 10 and 21 (medical and anti-doping) and RFU Regulation 21 (Safeguarding).

There are 35 Constituent Bodies to which the RFU delegates disciplinary powers. These bodies will normally deal with misconduct and foul play cases at level 5 and below.

Members of the RFU Disciplinary Panel and Constituent Body Disciplinary Panels are trained and accredited to sit on such cases by the RFU. In all cases heard by an RFU panel, a written judgment is produced and published on the website.


RFU Discipline

Head of Discipline David Barnes
National Schools & Youth Disciplinary Officer Ian Skillen JP
Legal Counsel (Discipline) Stuart Tennant
Department Administrator David Guyan

RFU Judiciary

Head of Independent Rugby Judiciary Philip Evans QC
Disciplinary Hearings Manager  Rebecca Morgan

Policies and guidance