Australia

World Rugby dismisses red card against Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete

Rugby Union’s governing body says Australia winger Marika Koroibete did not deserve to be sent off during the Wallabies’ test win over France last Saturday. 

Koroibete was given a red card in the fifth minute of the deciding Test match at Lang Park for a head-high tackle on France captain Anthony Jelonch.

Referee Ben O’Keeffe and his assistants determined the Wallabies winger’s shoulder hit the head of Jelonch, leading to the send-off. 

But Koroibete will not face any more punishment after World Rugby’s judiciary determined he made contact to Jelonch’s shoulder, with any contact to the neck and head considered “incidental”.

“Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that Marika Koroibete’s tackle … initially made shoulder to shoulder contact,” World Rugby announced. 

“On that basis, the committee did not uphold the red card and the player is free to play again immediately.”

Following the Wallabies’ 33-30 win on Saturday, coach Dave Rennie said the tackle was “terribly milked” by Jelonch.

“He obviously feels he’s got some head contact, then he’s grabbed his face, which is nowhere near the point of impact, and it’s delayed by five seconds,” Rennie said. 

“The issue for us is, do we get to the stage we’re telling our players to lie on the ground like the French did every time there’s any head contact?

“I don’t think it’s in the spirit of the game.”

World Rugby’s ruling means Koroibete will be eligible for selection when the Wallabies face the All Blacks on August 7 at Eden Park.


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