McLaughlin, the Bray, Co. Wicklow based solicitor, a former Leinster coach and a highly respected Leinster and Blackrock College club player and administrator, was the appointed Rugby World Cup Independent Judicial Officer called upon after England winger Dan Luger made an unauthorised appearance at Melbourne's Telstra Dome on Sunday last in their hard earned win over Samoa.
Luger took the field while centre Mike Tindall was being treated for cramp, giving England 16 players as the match went into injury time. He was on the field for 34 seconds and made a tackle before being told to leave.
There were calls for England's match points to be docked but the incident was without precedent so there was no scale of punishment in the tournament rules.
During the three and a half hour hearing, team official Reddin admitted they had been guilty of misconduct in ignoring the instructions of the number five match official, Brett Bowden of Australia, by directing Luger on to the field.
World Cup spokesman Chris Rea said several factors had been considered at the hearing. In respect of Mr. Reddin, the RWC Judicial Officer Mr. Brian McLaughlin (Ireland) took into account that there had been an admission of guilt and that there were a range of mitigating circumstances, including a clean record, character evidence and an apology. Rea said.
But this was weighed against a number of factors, including the fact that the directions of the match official were ignored and the need to maintain the integrity of the match officials.
In respect of the English Union, it was taken into account that there was an apology and an acknowledgement of error relating to the additional player being on the pitch. But there was a specific direction given to act contrary to the instructions of a match official and a #10,000 sterling fine was imposed.