France prop cited for high tackle on Ireland's Rob Herring

February 14, 2023 5:26 am

France prop Uini Atonio has been cited for his high tackle on Ireland hooker Rob Herring during Saturday’s Six Nations match in Dublin.

Atonio was sin-binned in France’s 32-19 defeat after his tackle forced Herring off for a head injury assessment (HIA), from which he did not return.

La Rochelle’s Atonio will attend a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, Ireland have confirmed Tadhg Beirne will see a specialist over the lock’s leg injury.

Beirne left the Aviva Stadium in a protective boot after the France game and is now a major doubt for Ireland’s trip to Italy on 25 February.

A Six Nations statement confirmed Atonio was cited for an act of foul play contrary to law 9.13 with the New Zealand-born forward now in danger of missing France’s match against Scotland on 26 February.

The law states: “A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.

“Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.”

In Monday’s squad update, Ireland also said Herring will proceed through the return to play protocols, while captain Johnny Sexton’s groin injury, which forced the fly-half off in the second half, will be monitored this week.

Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Robbie Henshaw and Jamison Gibson-Park are all continuing their rehab programmes.

Grand Slam-chasing Ireland have retained 25 players for a two-day mini-camp at the IRFU High-Performance Centre in Dublin later this week.

Wing Jacob Stockdale and uncapped hooker Tom Stewart have both been released back to Ulster ahead of the province’s United Rugby Championship trip to Glasgow on Friday.