TOKYO – A leading French rugby official has demanded "explanations" after a photograph emerged of referee Jaco Peyper appearing to pose with Wales fans mimicking a key red-card incident from Sunday's World Cup quarter-final.
Wales beat France 20-19 after South African Peyper sent off France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina for elbowing Aaron Wainwright in the face when France were leading 19-10 early in the second half.
A picture being circulated on social media appears to show a smiling Peyper in the middle of a group of celebrating Welsh fans, raising his elbow to seemingly mimic the violent incident that led to Vahaamahina's sending off.
French Rugby Federation vice president Dr Serge Simon said on Twitter: "This photo, if it is true, is shocking and explanations will be necessary."
World Rugby issued a statement saying it was aware of the picture but that it would be "inappropriate to comment further while we are establishing the facts."