Australia’s Marika Koroibete is free to play again after her red card was canceled in Saturday’s decisive victory against France, World Rugby announced on Monday, allowing her to take part in the Bledisloe Cup tests next month.
Koroibete had been suspended for several matches after being sent off in the fifth minute of the 33-30 game at Lang Park for a high tackle on France captain Anthony Jelonch. As Jelonch crouched in the tackle and grabbed his face as he fell, the red card sparked criticism from Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, who accused the French skipper of cheating on the penalty.
“Player Marika Koroibete has admitted to technically committing a foul play worthy of a red card,” World Rugby said in a statement. Koroibete made shoulder-to-shoulder contact with Jelonch in the fifth minute of the game, although any contact with the chest and neck was accidental, he said.
“World Rugby’s primary contact process was not followed due to mitigating factors, and the foul play was secondary. On this basis, the committee did not accept the red card and the player is free. to replay immediately, “he said. .
If convicted, Koroibete faced a suspension of at least six weeks before a reduction could be granted for mitigating factors. He would likely have missed Australia’s next three Bledisloe Cup tests against the All Blacks from Eden Park on August 7.
World Rugby has cracked down on high tackles over concerns over the long-term impacts of concussions, turning what was once a trickle of red cards in international rugby into a flood in recent years. Under pressure from coaches and players who have complained that strict interpretations kill matches, World Rugby has allowed a modified red card rule to be tried that allows a sent off player to be replaced by another after 20 minutes.
The trial, however, has not been approved for international testing.
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