FRANCE PROP Uini Atonio has been cited for his high tackle on Ireland hooker Rob Herring during Saturday’s Six Nations clash in Dublin.

Atonio was yellow-carded by referee Wayne Barnes for his challenge on Herring during the game, but the citing commissioner has deemed it to meet the red-card threshold.

That means Atonio will face a disciplinary hearing tomorrow and he faces a suspension.

The tackle occurred in the 25th minute of Ireland’s bonus-point win and after Barnes initially indicated for play to continue, he reviewed Atonio’s hit with Television Match Official Brendon Pickerill during the next break in play.

“We’ve got some force through the body on that angle,” said Barnes upon review as he decided to yellow card Atonio rather than send him off.


“OK, so we’ve got some through the arm and some through the chest but we have got head contact. It’s not all through the head and we’ve got that whiplash going forward.

“So I’m not starting off at a high degree of danger. I think it reduces the force somewhat going through the chest. I think there’s some force through the chest, that’s why it’s not a high degree of danger.”

However, the citing commissioner believed Atonio’s high tackle warranted a red card and he has now officially been cited. A suspension could mean the huge tighthead prop missing les Bleus‘ next Six Nations game at home against Scotland in two weekends’ time.

“France prop, Uini Atonio will attend an independent disciplinary hearing after he was cited for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously,” reads an official Six Nations statement.

“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 the Guinness Six Nations match between Ireland and France on Saturday 11th February 2023.

“The player will attend a hearing via video conference before an independent Judicial Committee consisting of Judge Mike Mika – Chairman (New Zealand), joined by former international Leon Lloyd (England) and former international Stefan Terblanche (South Africa).

“The hearing will take place on Wednesday 15th February 2023.”

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