England centre Piers Francis could miss Rugby World Cup games against Argentina and France after being cited for a high tackle during win over USA
- England centre Piers Francis has been cited for his high tackle during the US win
- The incident was missed by officials during Thursday’s Pool C Test in Kobe
- Francis could miss the upcoming group games against Argentina and France
- Tournament officials have been clamping down on dangerous tackles in Japan
Piers Francis will stand trial for a high tackle after England were sucked into the foul play storm that has stalked the opening week of the World Cup.
The centre was cited on Friday for his first minute collision with USA full-back Will Hooley – even though referees missed the incident at the time.
Officials retrospectively deemed the incident could be worthy of a red card and, if found guilty, Francis could face a three-week ban.
England centre Piers Francis has been cited for his high tackle on USA full-back Will Hooley
Francis must now attend a hearing in Tokyo before an independent Judicial Committee
Tournament officials have been clamping down on dangerous tackles – having this week issued a stunning rebuke at the level of refereeing.
No date has been set but Francis must now attend a hearing in Tokyo before an independent Judicial Committee before the two key Pool C Tests against Argentina and France.
The USA flanker John Quill who smashed into Owen Farrell in the same game – and was sent off – has been banned for three weeks for his tackle.
England, meanwhile, have no complaints about the Francis citing – with Eddie Jones saying he will accept any punishment that comes their way.
However, the hot topic of tackling technique has not been addressed with the players in light of a string of high profile incidents.
Wallaby winger Reece Hodge and Samoa centre Rey Lee-Lo have already been banned, while more are set to follow in a backlog of disciplinary hearings.
The Northampton playmaker could miss the upcoming games against Argentina and France
England full-back Elliot Daly welcomed the increased focus on safety, but added that there will be no immediate adaptations to tackle technique.
‘It’s not changed that much in my eyes, really,’ said Daly. ‘You want to make good tackles and sometimes you’ll slip up and deemed to be a high tackle.
‘The way it’s going, you can’t really think about it, you’ve just got to do what you do. Any rule that comes in you have to abide by it. It’s safer for the game, definitely.’
England coach Scott Wisemantel said England had been working on ways to tackle. ‘The tackle technique, we train it. If you do that then you are potentially lowering the risk. As long as you understand the parameters of where you can get yourself into trouble.’