TOKYO (Reuters) - Australia will not be appealing against the three-match ban handed to winger Reece Hodge for a dangerous tackle in last weekend’s Rugby World Cup match against Fiji, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said on Saturday.
Hodge was found guilty on Wednesday of a dangerous tackle on Fijian flanker Peceli Yato in Sapporo even though the matchday officials did not penalise him during the match.
The suspension rules Hodge out of Australia’s remaining Pool D matches against Wales, Georgia and Uruguay and Cheika said on Friday they were still considering an appeal.
“What’s the legal term? We deliberated, yes, with our (lawyer) and several other legal minds around Australia and we’ve come to the conclusion that we won’t be appealing,” Cheika told reporters.
“If they can’t see that tackle doesn’t meet the red card threshold on first view, I worry a little bit about going back there and getting more, just a bit of a show of force, I suppose. After speaking with Reece, we decided not to do it.”
Adam Ashley-Cooper will replace Hodge on the right wing for Australia’s crunch match against Six Nations champions Wales in Tokyo on Sunday.
Hodge, Samoans Rey Lee-lo and Motu Matu’u, and American John Quill have all received three-match bans for dangerous tackles in the first week of the tournament as World Rugby cracked down on any contact with an opponent’s head.
Reporting by Jill Gralow, writing by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Sudipto Ganguly