Bradley Davies and Stephen Ferris cited for foul play


Wales lock Bradley Davies and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris have both
been cited for foul play during Sunday's RBS 6 Nations game between the
countries in Dublin.

Tournament organisers have announced the citings, which were made by match commissioner, Italian Achille Reali.

Davies was yellow-carded for a reckless tip-tackle on Ireland replacement Donnacha Ryan, while Ferris received an identical punishment for his tackle on Davies' second-row partner Ian Evans.

Ferris infringed in the last minute of the game, and Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked the resulting penalty to give his team a 23-21 victory.

Davies and Ferris will appear before an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee in London tomorrow.

Wales continue their Six Nations campaign against Scotland in Cardiff next Sunday, while Ireland meet France in Paris the previous evening.

Reali has taken his action under the International Rugby Board's Law 10.4 (j).

It states: "Lifting a player from the ground, and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground such that the player's head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground, is dangerous play."

Wales coach Warren Gatland admitted after the match that Davies was fortunate to avoid a red card, escaping with a sin-binning from referee Wayne Barnes on the recommendation of his assistant Dave Pearson.

Ferris' offence looked far less serious, but he now faces an anxious wait before discovering whether or not he will be sidelined for any part of the tournament.

For his part, Davies seems likely to land a ban, which would give Gatland a second-row selection poser given that World Cup locks Alun-Wyn Jones and Luke Charteris are currently injured and unavailable.

If Gatland is without Davies for the Scottish clash, then he could consider moving flanker Ryan Jones to second-row duty, especially if blindside Dan Lydiate shakes off an ankle injury that sidelined him from the Dublin trip.

Gatland also has uncapped Scarlets lock Lou Reed in his Six Nations squad, but the Davies episode is clearly one he can do without.

Speaking straight after the match in Dublin, Gatland said: "We've got to plan, potentially, for him being cited.

"I've seen a replay, and I won't deny it wasn't fantastic. Potentially, we have got to prepare for the worst.

"When you go behind with 15 minutes to go and you have a yellow card, you don't have a lot of time to get back into the game."

Gatland is due to name his team for the Scotland encounter tomorrow, but it would be no surprise if that was put back until later in the week, possibly to Friday.

Apart from Davies' disciplinary hearing to occupy his thoughts, Gatland will also be keeping a close eye on captain Sam Warburton.

Warburton, who was sent off for a tip-tackle against World Cup semi-final opponents France four months ago, departed at half-time in Dublin because of a leg injury and he was due to undergo intensive treatment over the past 24 hours.


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