Samoa's Ben Lam gets 3-game ban for red card against Japan at Rugby World Cup

Japan's players watch on as Samoa's players perform their traditional Haka ahead of the Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Japan and Samoa, at the Stadium de Toulouse in Toulouse, France, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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PARIS (AP) — Samoa wing Ben Lam will miss their final Rugby World Cup pool game against England after receiving a three-game ban on Monday for his red card against Japan.

Lam shoulder-tackled the head of Pieter Labuschagne last Thursday in Toulouse. His yellow card for the dangerous tackle was upgraded to red by the bunker. Samoa played the last 33 minutes a man down and lost to Japan 28-22.

At the judicial hearing, Lam accepted it was red-card foul.

The panel started the sanction at six games and halved it after considering Lam's admission, disciplinary record, apology to Labuschagne and “good character.”

He will miss the England game this Saturday and, on the slim chance Samoa advances, two knockout stage games. Otherwise, he will miss two Montpellier club games. The ban will be reduced to two games if he completes tackle school.

The 32-year-old Lam made his Samoa test debut only in the previous pool game against Argentina 10 days ago.

The red card was Samoa's fourth in Rugby World Cup history, tied for the most with Canada and Tonga.

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AP Rugby World Cup: https://apnews.com/hub/rugby