TOKYO – England inside centre Piers Francis has been cleared to continue to play in the Rugby World Cup after a disciplinary panel on Sunday dismissed a citing for a dangerous tackle in his team's match with the United States.
Francis was cited for his high tackle on American Will Hooley straight from the opening kickoff of their Pool C game in Kobe on Thursday.
While referee Nic Berry opted not to review the tackle at the time, television replays showed Francis's shoulder appeared to catch the U.S. fullback in the jaw and he was cited to appear before the panel on Sunday.
"The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play but denied that it reached the red card threshold," World Rugby said in a statement on Sunday.
"Having considered all the angles of the incident, together with evidence from the player and submissions from his legal counsel, the panel determined that the act ought to have resulted in a yellow card on-field.