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'A reckless act of foul play': Red-carded Adam Coleman cops a ban

By Liam Heagney
An out-of-shot Adam Coleman is red-carded (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

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Former Wallabies lock Adam Coleman will miss the next three London Irish matches following his red card in last Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership draw at Saracens. The 30-year-old forward, who won the last of his 38 Test caps in the 2019 World Cup quarter-final defeat to England, was sent off just 22 minutes into last weekend’s league game at StoneX Arena.  

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Coleman was deemed by referee Ian Tempest to have illegally made contact with the head of Jackson Wray and at his Tuesday night hearing, the Australian accepted the charge and was given a ban by an independent disciplinary panel comprising Gareth Graham with Leon Lloyd and Olly Kohn. 

He is free to play again on November 30, meaning he will miss the Premiership Cup games versus Northampton and Saracens as well as the Premiership match versus Harlequins. However, he could yet become available to face the defending league champions if he agrees to attend a tackle school that will knock a week off his suspension.      

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie on his team’s indiscipline versus Scotland
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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie on his team’s indiscipline versus Scotland

In a written statement provided to the hearing, Coleman, who joined London Irish in 2019, explained: “As the nearest defender, I attempt to tackle Saracens’ No7. As I lower my height to make the tackle, he dynamically changes direction and accelerates towards me. This means my tackle happens earlier than I expected. 

“As I am rushed into the tackle, I fail to reduce my height as much as I intended. The impact of the collision forces me upwards and I make contact with the player’s head. I had no intention of hurting or making contact with Jackson Wray’s head. I apologise for the tackle which, due to the dynamic carry, I fail to reduce my height appropriately. 

“I am relieved that Jackson Wray was able to continue and did not suffer any injury. I pride myself on my excellent disciplinary record. Working on my tackle technique in training has always been an important part of my weekly preparation and I will ensure I continue to improve in this area.”

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In their findings, the disciplinary panel concluded: “It was a reckless act of foul play. Whilst the player did attempt to lower his height, he did not lower it enough to make a safe tackle. He remained too upright, despite having a clear line of sight, and committed to a dominant tackle in that upright position. Under the head contact process, no mitigation was available to reduce this from a red card to a yellow card.”

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