TOKYO – Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has defended Reece Hodge over the high tackle that ruled the winger out of the rest of the World Cup pool phase and said Australia might still appeal his ban.
Cheika said he was determined that the affair would not distract the Australians, who were finalists at the last World Cup, before their crunch Pool D showdown with Wales in Tokyo on Sunday.
Hodge was suspended for three World Cup matches on Wednesday after being found guilty of a dangerous tackle on Fijian flanker Peceli Yato in the Pool D opener in Sapporo last Saturday.
He has the right to appeal the ban within 48 hours of receiving the judgement on Thursday.
"We talked about it," said Cheika. "No one in the team believes that what Reece did met the red card threshold because of the framework that they have in place. At the end of the day it will be up to Reece predominantly, see how he feels about it.