Folau to face disciplinary hearing

Darren Walton
Israel Folau and Peter O'Mahony contest the ball during the 3rd Test between Australia and Ireland

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau will face a hearing in front of World Rugby officials after receiving a warning over a second incident separate to his yellow-card offence in Australia's series-deciding loss to Ireland in Sydney.

Folau was sin-binned in the 31st minute on Saturday for unnecessary contact with Peter O'Mahony during an aerial challenge that resulted in the Ireland captain being concussed after crashing into the Allianz Stadium turf.

But Folau will now be the subject of a disciplinary hearing after the citing commissioner deemed he also sent O'Mahony "toppling to the ground" in another incident in the ninth minute of the Wallabies' 20-16 defeat.

The citing commissioner picked up Folau for "placing his left hand on O'Mahony's chest" after contesting a high ball at a restart.

The flanker was being lifted by Irish teammate CJ Stander at the time, with the commissioner determining Folau's conduct was "strikingly similar" to the yellow-card offence later in the match.

Because the warning came after Folau was also sin-binned, a disciplinary hearing is required to consider the Wallabies superstar's case under World Rugby's regulation 17.

No date for the hearing has been set.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was asked post-match if World Rugby needed to further clarify rules around aerial challenges in light of French fullback Benjamin Fall being sent off by Australian referee Angus Gardner last week against New Zealand only for the red card to be retrospectively cancelled by the governing body.

But the frustrated coach said he wouldn't bother.

"The key word these days is 'clear' and 'obvious', isn't it? I don't know anything that's clear and obvious in a game of footy. Nothing, right? But they run with it," Cheika said.

"Look at Angus last week. I really felt for him. He made the decision based on rules that they give him and then they left him out (to hang). Took away the red card, basically said 'you made the wrong call'.

"So I'm not sure how you can clarify it any more or clarify it any less, to be honest.

"Rugby, there's no black and white in this game. It's a lot of grey and it's about the interpretations in the grey so, yeah, I don't know how they can clarify it, so there's not much point in me asking about clarification."