Rugby Union

Wales prop Tomas Francis could face lengthy ban if cited for Twickenham incident

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Football News

Wales prop Tomas Francis should know on Monday whether he is to be cited following an incident during Saturday's RBS 6 Nations defeat against England at Twickenham.

Television footage showed the Exeter forward appearing to make contact with the eye area of England tighthead Dan Cole late in the game, which England won 25-21 to set them up for a Grand Slam tilt in Paris next weekend.

Match citing commissioner John Cole, of Ireland, has until 48 hours after the end of the game - approximately 6pm on Monday - to decide on any action.

If a complaint is made and 23-year-old Francis is found guilty at a subsequent disciplinary hearing, then he could be looking at a lengthy ban - possibly 12 weeks or more.

Saracens' England wing Chris Ashton received a 10-week suspension in January for making contact with the eye area of Ulster back Luke Marshall during a European Champions Cup game, although most observers felt it was a harsh punishment.

Speaking immediately after the Twickenham clash, England head coach Eddie Jones said: "I never comment on referee's decisions, especially when we have won a game of rugby. (But) if it was a finger put in the eye, then that should be adjudicated."

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said his initial reaction was he didn't think "it looked great".

Match referee Craig Joubert opted against carding Francis, and the citing commissioner must now decide whether he feels the incident was worthy of a red card or not.

Any lengthy period of suspension for 11 times-capped Francis could see him miss the rest of this season.

Exeter are currently strong contenders for a place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs, while they face a Champions Cup quarter-final against Wasps early next month.

Wales, meanwhile, play England again at Twickenham on May 29 before embarking on a June tour of New Zealand that features three Tests against the world champion All Blacks.

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