The Six Nations has confirmed that England prop Ellis Genge has not been cited for his actions in the closing moments of the clash with Ireland.
Following England’s loss to Ireland, footage emerged of Genge repeatedly thrusting his elbow into the head and neck of Ireland captain Johnny Sexton while the two grappled on the floor.
Did you see this nasty incident from the England-Ireland clash? What sort of sanction do you think Ellis Genge should face? pic.twitter.com/XpDG6kH3lk
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) March 22, 2021
It is an act which Genge himself does not deny having committed. In fact, audio captured on referee Mathieu Raynal’s microphone records Sexton protesting to the referee ‘Sir, he elbowed me in the face’, to which Genge replies ‘Yeah, I did. I did.’
Sexton: “Sir, he elbowed me in the face.” (He did it multiple times)
Genge: “Yeah I did. I did.”
Six Nations: Ellis Genge has not been cited.
How does this work?
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) March 22, 2021
Genge’s actions have been met with widespread condemnation with many online speaking out against the prop. Former Springbok icon Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira was one high-profile player to voice his displeasure.
This Ellis Genge dude needs to be dealt with 🤨😤properly.. https://t.co/1JC9KelO7N
— Tendai Mtawarira (@Beast_TM) March 22, 2021
The citing commissioner, however, does not deem the Genge’s actions to have been sufficiently severe to have warranted a red card. This means that Genge has not been cited and will not have to face a disciplinary hearing.
It’s a decision which has caused a significant degree of frustration and consternation among fans as it highlights apparent inconsistencies in how the disciplinary framework is being applied.
1. Was there head contact? Yes. Repeated, visible, admitted.
2. Was there foul play? Yes. Law 9.12, striking with the elbow. Repeated, intentional.
3. Degree of danger? Trigger words: direct contact, elbow, intentional. High.
4. Mitigation? No mitigation if intentional.
— Tim O’Connor (@timoconnorbl) March 22, 2021
South African-born French lock Paul Willemse, however, has not been so fortunate and will appear before a disciplinary hearing following his red card against Wales.
The big second rower was sent off after he appeared to make contact with the eyes of Welsh prop Wyn Jones in contravention of law 9.12 which covers ‘dangerous play, contact with eye or eye area’.
French coach Fabien Galthie has already come to the player’s defence, stating that the offence was not serious.
‘I don’t think he deserves a heavy punishment, I think he deserves leniency. When you look at the footage, for me there is no contact.’