Koroibete free to play after controversial red card

Marika Koroibete will be free to play for the Wallabies in next month’s Bledisloe Cup after avoiding further sanction for his hit on Anthony Jelonch.

Koroibete was given his marching orders amid huge controversy in the opening minutes of Australia’s thrilling win over France at the weekend after he was deemed to have made direct contact to the head and shoulder of the French skipper.

It meant the Wallabies were forced to battle with a man down en route to a stunning series-clinching win as fans and pundits across the game piled on officials for the heavy-handed decision.

However, in a turn of fate for the Wallabies, Koribete will be free to play in Australia’s next clash, spared any further sanction by World Rugby.

“The committee deemed Marika Koroibete’s tackle on French loose-forward Anthony Jelonch initially made shoulder to shoulder contact,” A World Rugby statement read.

“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 foul play was secondary.

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

The decision was taken as a show of vindication for the Wallabies and Koroibete, as a host of greats weighed in on the verdict.

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