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Panel reach outcome on Marika Koroibete red card

Marika Koroibete of the Wallabies prepares for the 2nd test between the Wallabies and France at AAMI Park on Tuesday July 13, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Copyright Photo: Morgan Hancock /

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Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete is set to return for the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship after escaping suspension for an alleged high tackle.


Koroibete fronted a World Rugby judicial committee on Monday night to fight the dangerous tackle charge after controversially being shown an early red card in Australia’s series-deciding test win over France on Saturday night.

Koroibete was dismissed after just five minutes of the third test in Brisbane for a tackle on France captain Anthony Jelonch. Post-match, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie stated that he felt Jelonch had “terribly milked” the incident.

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An independent panel chaired by New Zealand’s Helen Morgan and supported by ex-players Mike Mika and Chris Smith tended to agree, exonerating Koroibete after considering all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and his representative.

“The player Marika Koroibete admitted to technically committing an act of foul play worthy of a red card,” SANZAAR said in a statement.

“Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that Marika Koroibete’s tackle on French loose-forward Anthony Jelonch initially made shoulder to shoulder contact at the fifth minute of the game.

“Subsequently, through the impact, any contact to the chest and neck was incidental by Koroibete.


“Therefore, World Rugby’s Head Contact Process was not met due to mitigating factors, and the act of the foul play was secondary.

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

Arguably Australia’s best player in the opening two tests against Les Bleus, the 37-test Wallaby Koroibete is now free to to take on the All Blacks in the first match of the Bledisloe Cup series and Rugby Championship at Eden Park on August 7.


Darren Walton and Melissa Woods


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