GOODDAY

The Herald - Sport - - RUGBY WORLD CUP -

For Tom Wood, the Eng­land flanker who has been cleared to play against Aus­tralia af­ter ques­tions were raised about his role in the in­ci­dent that re­sulted in Liam Wil­liams, the Wales full-back, be­ing car­ried from the pitch.

It is easy to be cyn­i­cal about how well play­ers can dis­guise sin­is­ter be­hav­iour, but for all the at­ten­tion paid to the in­ci­dent on so­cial media across the week­end it looked like a le­git­i­mate at­tempt to kick an awk­wardly bounc­ing ball went wrong when his shin came into con­tact with Wil­liams’ head.

At the very worst he was guilty of noth­ing more than care­less play if the con­clu­sion is that he should have been more aware of Wil­liams’ vul­ner­a­bil­ity, but the de­ci­sion of the cit­ing com­mis­sioner not to treat the in­ci­dent as some­thing that would have mer­ited a red card had it been picked up the of­fi­cials at the time, seemed the right one.

Wood, whose con­fes­sion surely worked in his favour when he said he felt guilty about hav­ing in­jured his op­po­nent in of­fer­ing an apol­ogy, has con­se­quently been given what is termed “a yel­low card warn­ing” which is the equiv­a­lent of a sin-bin­ning. Any player sin-binned three times in the course of the tour­na­ment will face a ju­di­cial of­fi­cer and is very likely to re­ceive a ban.

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