The Springbok Women on Monday announced that they would appeal against the 16-week suspension handed to captain Mandisa Williams for allegedly striking and making contact with an Australian player’s eye in the team's opening Women's Rugby World Cup clash last Friday.
Williams was cited on Saturday and appeared before a disciplinary committee at the French Rugby Federation in Marcoussis on Sunday. The judgement was announced on Monday.
The player was alleged to have contravened law 10.4 (m) and 10.4 (a) which states that a player should not strike an opponent nor act contrary to good sportsmanship.
This followed an incident in the 39th minute of the team’s Rugby World Cup clash against Australia in which she pushed Australian lock Alisha Hewett and her hands were alleged to have made contact with the eye area of the opposition player, after which she was alleged to have struck Hewett.
Should the suspension be upheld following the appeal, it would effectively mean that Williams will be ruled out of rugby for the remainder of the team's Rugby World Cup campaign, as well as the SARU Women's Interprovincial semifinal and final which is scheduled to take place in September.
The Springbok Women will face hosts France in their second World Cup pool match on Tuesday and Wales in their final pool match on Saturday, August 5.