France prop Uini Atonio given three-game ban for high tackle on Rob Herring

English referee Wayne Barnes studies the screen after a tackle from France’s prop Uini Atonio

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France prop Uini Atonio has received a three-match ban after being cited for a dangerous tackle on Ireland hooker Rob Herring during Saturday’s Six Nations game in Dublin.

Atonio was suspended for Les Bleus’ Six Nations appointments with Scotland, England and Wales.

But an independent judicial committee granted an application by Atonio to take part in a coaching intervention programme, which means he will be available to face Wales on March 18 if he completes it.

Atonio was sin-binned in the first half of France’s 32-19 defeat at the Aviva Stadium after his challenge forced Herring off for a head injury assessment from which he did not return.

Referee Wayne Barnes was criticised by a number of pundits for his failure to send off the 32-year-old La Rochelle player.


Atonio appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link, Six Nations organisers said.

“He admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card,” a Six Nations statement read.

“Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee accepted the player’s admission that the tackle on Ireland number two was foul play.

“His shoulder made contact with Ireland number two’s neck/face as described in the citing commissioner’s report, and therefore reached the red-card threshold.”

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