[Source: World Rugby]
Spain will not be playing in Rugby World Cup 2023 after an independent judicial committee found they fielded an ineligible player during the qualifiers.
Last month, Spain qualified for Rugby World Cup 2023 after beating Portugal 33-28 in the Rugby Europe Championship campaign.
The committee was convened to investigate a potential breach of World Rugby’s eligibility regulations and it has found that Spain did field an ineligible player who featured in two qualification matches for Spain over the two-year cycle.
The sanction imposed includes a deduction of five points for each of the matches he played in and a fine of $56,000.
In terms of RWC 2023 qualification, the points deduction means that Romania moves into second spot and will go into Pool B as Europe Two while Portugal moves into the repechage.
The above is subject to Spain’s right of appeal, which they have to lodge within 14 days.
The Spanish federation said in a statement that the sanction was “very harsh” and is the result of “an alleged forgery of the aforementioned player’s passport”.