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Further blow for Ireland as Sean O'Brien cited for foul play during Rugby World Cup win over France

Published 12/10/2015

Ireland's fears were confirmed after Sean O’Brien was cited for an alleged act of foul play during the 24-9 victory over France yesterday.

Flanker O'Brien appeared to strike France lock Pascal Pape in the first minute of the intense World Cup clash in Cardiff.

Ireland powered to a victory that secured a last-eight meeting with Argentina on Sunday, with O'Brien landing the official man-of-the-match award.

“Seán O’Brien has been cited by independent Citing Commissioner Dougie Hunter (Scotland) for an alleged act of foul play contrary to Law 10.4(a) during the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D match between France and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Sunday, 11 October. Law 10.4(a) deals with striking,” the statement today read.

The hearing will take place at 1pm tomorrow.

French head coach Philippe Saint-Andre was scathing of the match officials following the incident.

"It was an assault after 23 seconds of the game," said Saint-Andre.

"I hope the next time the TMO will really do his job.

"Since the beginning of the competition on whatever matter is concerned, try or injury, we return to a review of the images.

"In this case they do no such thing."

A young Ireland fan watches from the stands during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Photo: PA
A young Ireland fan watches from the stands during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Photo: PA
Ireland's number 8 Jamie Heaslip celebrates. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER.
Thierry Dusautoir and Dave Kearney after the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Ireland's lock Iain Henderson celebrates with team-mates. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER
Dave Kearney of Ireland is wrapped up during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Ireland's Iain Henderson in action. Photo:David Davies/PA Wire.
France's lock Yoann Maestri reacts after Ireland's scrum half Conor Murray scored their second try during a Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between France and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on October 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE
Ireland's lock and captain Paul O'Connell takes on France's lock Yoann Maestri. Photo: PA
Paul O'Connell is tackled by France's lock Yoann Maestri Photo: Getty
Referee Nigel Owens. Photo: PA
Ireland's Paul O'Connell receives treatment during the Rugby World Cup match.Photo: PA
Ireland's lock and captain Paul O'Connell tackles France's fly half Frederic Michalak. Photo: Getty
Ireland's fly half Jonathan Sexton leaves the field injured. Photo: Getty
Ireland's fly half Jonathan Sexton holds the ball during the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between France and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photo: Getty.
Peter O'Mahony of Ireland is tackled by Louis Picamoles. Photo: Getty
Ireland's scrum half Conor Murray tackles France's full-back Scott Spedding. Photo: Getty
France's scrum half Sebastien Tillous-Borde on the ball. Photo: Getty
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip in action. Photo: Getty
France's centre Wesley Fofana goes for the ball. Photo: Getty
France's Thierry Dusautoir passes the ball. Photo: PA
Ireland's lock Devin Toner catches the ball in a lineout. Photo: Getty
Peter O'Mahony of Ireland has his shirt pulled by Louis Picamoles (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
France's wing Noa Nakaitaci (top) goes over to reach the ball against Dave Kearney. Getty
Ireland's fly half Jonathan Sexton prepares to kick a penalty. Photo: Getty
Peter O'Mahony of Ireland receives medical treatment during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland.(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Ireland's flanker Peter O'Mahony is stretchered off. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE.
Ireland's flanker Peter O'Mahony lays on a stretcher as he leaves the pitch. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS
Rob Kearney of Ireland goes up to take the ball during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Post-match Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt defended the powerful backrower.

“I think he's being held and he swung. It's not a closed fist, but it's not a decision for me. I'd be hopeful,” he said.

Quarter-final opponents Argentina also have a player in the dock, with Marcelo Bosch also facing a hearing tomorrow following an alleged dangerous tackle against Namibia.

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