England’s Francis cited over high tackle against USA

Saturday, September 28th, 2019 00:00 |
England’s centre Piers Francis in action during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool C match against the United States at the Kobe Misaki Stadium in Kobe on September 26, 2019. Photo/AFP

England’s Piers Francis was cited for foul play on Friday after a tackle that left USA fullback Will Hooley concussed at the Rugby World Cup.

Francis will appear before a three-member independent judicial committee in Tokyo, following England’s 45-7 win over the Eagles in Kobe on Thursday.

The centre made the tackle from the opening kick-off.

His citing comes after Australia’s Reece Hodge and Rey Lee-Lo of Samoa both received three-match bans for high tackles, which are under severe scrutiny at Japan 2019.

John Quill has also been cited for a late shot on England captain Owen Farrell in the same game that saw the US flanker receive the first red card of this World Cup.

World Rugby has introduced a new framework for policing high tackles, and the governing body took the unusual step of criticising refereeing standards after the tournament’s first weekend.

England coach Eddie Jones, asked after the match about Francis’s tackle on Hooley, said they would “take whatever is handed out” by disciplinary chiefs.

Meanwhile, England fullback Elliot Daly, speaking to reporters on Friday, said: “It hasn’t changed that much in my eyes, you want to make good tackles, that’s all you really want to do.”

“Sometimes you slip up and you’ll get deemed (to have made a) high tackle now.”

“It’s safer for the game and to be honest any rule that comes in you have to abide by it and that’s obviously for the safety of us and everyone around us,” he added.

Wallaby wing Hodge, like Francis, escaped on-field action for a high tackle on Fiji’s Paceli Yato during Australia’s opening 39-21 Pool D win in Sapporo on Saturday. -AFP

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