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Israel Folau to face disciplinary hearing after challenges on Peter O'Mahony

The Wallabies fullback has received a citing commissioner’s warning on top of his yellow card.

Murray Kinsella reports from Sydney

WALLABIES FULLBACK ISRAEL Folau has been issued a citing commissioner’s warning for a challenge on Peter O’Mahony in the air during Ireland’s 20-16 win in Sydney yesterday.

Given that Folau was also yellow-carded in the game over a separate incident, he will now face a disciplinary hearing.

Folau was sin-binned by referee Pascal Gaüzère for playing O’Mahony in the air under a 31st-minute restart, but that is not the incident that the Wallabies star has been served a citing commissioner’s warning for.

The incident that has led to the warning took place in the ninth minute.

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Citing commissioner Michael O’Leary’s view was that O’Mahony “toppled to the ground” after Folau “placed his left hand on O’Mahony as he started to descend.”

The warning comes under  Law 9.11 – ‘Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others’ – and Law 9.17 – ‘A player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground’.

O’Leary commented that the ninth-minute incident was “strikingly similar” to the one for which Folau was sin-binned.

That incident came in the 31st minute.

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The combination of a yellow card and a citing commissioner’s warning mean Folau will face a disciplinary hearing.

Citing commissioners are “entitled to issue a Citing Commissioner Warning to a Player who has in his opinion committed an act(s) of Foul Play which falls just short of warranting that the Player concerned be Ordered Off in circumstances where the act of Foul Play was not subject to a Temporary Suspension or Ordering Off,” according to World Rugby Regulation 17.

The same regulation says that “If a Player has received two Citing Commissioner Warnings or a combination of a Citing Commissioner Warning and a Temporary Suspension during a Match he shall be treated for disciplinary purposes as if he had been Ordered Off.”

Folau’s disciplinary hearing will be convened under Judicial Officer Shao Wang [Singapore] at a time to be confirmed.

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Murray Kinsella

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