Wallaby star Israel Folau has had his one-match ban upheld by an appeal hearing, following his controversial yellow card incident in the third Test against Ireland at Allianz Stadium in Sydney last weekend.
Folau was shown a yellow card before being given a citing commissioner’s warning following two separate incidents involving Ireland captain O’Mahony in Sydney, where the Six Nations champions won 20-16 to clinch the series 2-1.
The Appeal Committee chaired by Antony Davies (England) alongside Beth Dickens (Scotland) and Olly Kohn (Wales) took the hearing via video conference.
Many were angered at the decision that saw Folau face a World Rugby disciplinary hearing.
“I’d be stunned if he’s not available,” he said. “Personally, I think it’s an interesting decision to even send him there [to a disciplinary].
“They’ve made that call, so he’ll go and defend himself. You probably saw it, personally I think if you’re in the air and you’re three foot off the ground, four feet off the ground, he’s quite high off the ground.
“I would think they would look at their one-man lifting technique. I know we do a lot of it but I’d be surprised. It’d be a bit of a nanny state if they pull him.”
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson previously stated that the rules may need to be changed if Folau was slapped with a suspension.
“I hope it doesn’t because that’s the element of rugby that’s important, that there is a kick and there is a fair contest for the ball,” he said.
“I don’t think in AFL they’ve got any particular rules governing that contest and so that’s why for me it’s really interesting, in terms of that law and what happens and the implications of what happens if he does get a sanction.”
He added: “I believe if he does get some time, there’s some real implications around the law-making process going forward.
“It really makes us look at the kick contest area and exactly how we can provide a law that provides for what is happening in terms of the collisions and guys landing on their heads.”
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