Review group to look into France-Wales substitute row

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 22:13

NEWS: Six Nations chiefs have still to make a ruling on whether improper substitutions took place in last month's France and Wales clash with the controversial closing stages now under review.

The March 18 match in Paris ended in a 20-18 win for France, with referee Wayne Barnes allowing an extraordinary 20 minutes of added-on time at the end of the game.

With France 13-18 behind and camped on the Welsh line, a series of scrums took place late in the match as they went in search of an equalising try.

In the midst of this, France prop Uini Atonio was replaced - despite telling Barnes he was not injured but his back was hurting - by preferred tighthead prop Rabah Slimani, known for his devastating scrummaging power.

France coach Guy Noves insisted it was a genuine call by his medics under the head injury assessment (HIA) procedure, which would leave Barnes with no choice but to allow France to bring back the previously substituted Slimani under rules governing the treatment of suspected concussion.

But Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley said there was "evidence to suggest that the integrity of the game has been brought into disrepute" by France fabricating the head injury call.

Monday's Six Nations statement, rather than drawing a line under the incident, instead promised a new inquiry.

"Following its preliminary investigation into the replacements made in the latter stages of the France v Wales match on 18 March 2017 [and in particular the replacement of Uini Atonio by Rabah Slimani], Six Nations Rugby has decided to refer the matter to the independent Six Nations Untoward Incident Review Group [UIRG] for review."

The statement added: "Six Nations Rugby will send the file to the UIRG later this week and it is anticipated that the review process will begin shortly thereafter."

The UIRG came into being a couple of seasons ago when the HIA procedure for dealing with suspected concussion was introduced.

Officials have already decided they will take no further action against France wing Virimi Vakatawa, sin-binned for a high tackle, and not pursue a biting complaint from Wales wing George North for lack of evidence.

Last week, France vice-captain Yoann Maestri was fined €30,000 (US$32,000) for a post-match criticism of English referee Barnes where he said: "Anglo-Saxon referees always talk about fair play but the reality is that they think we [the French] are cheats."

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0