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

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."

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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