France second-rower Bernard Le Roux will be available for France's crunch clash against Ireland this weekend after he avoided a suspension despite appearing to drop a forearm into the face of Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones.
Le Roux was cited for the incident that took place during the first half of Wales' defeat to France in Paris on Saturday. The incident was missed during the match by referee Karl Dickson and his team of officials but was picked up by the citing commisioner.
France team manager Raphael Ibanez confirmed the news on Twitter on Tuesday night with his message translating to: "After the hearing of Bernard Le Roux with the disciplinary commission of the Committee of 6 Nations, it is with pleasure that I inform you that our exemplary player has no charge against him." "He will be able to defend our colours on Saturday against Ireland."
A Six Nations statement read: "The France second row forward, Bernard Le Roux, appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee via videoconference today.
"Mr Le Roux had been cited following the match between France and Wales on October 24, 2020 at Stade de France for an alleged infringement of Law 9.12 (striking with the hand or arm) in the 19th minute of the match.
"The citing complaint had alleged that Mr Le Roux had struck the Wales second row, Alun Wyn Jones.
"Mr Le Roux acknowledged that he had made contact with Mr Jones, but denied that it had been an act of foul play.
"The Disciplinary Committee, which comprised Charles Cuthbert (UAE), Leon Lloyd (England) and Frank Hadden (Scotland), considered all of the relevant material, and heard evidence and submissions from Mr Le Roux and his legal counsel, Louis Weston.
"The Disciplinary Committee found that Mr Le Roux had committed an act of foul play (an infringement of Law 9.12) but that it had not warranted a red card, and that Mr Le Roux is therefore free to resume playing immediately."
Former Wales international Gareth Thomas commented on the incident after the game on ITV saying: "To me, he comes down with a forearm into his face.
"As Alun Wyn Jones’ head gets tilted to the floor, the right elbow comes in and onto his face."
James Hook responded saying: "There is definitely intent there. That right elbow, there’s intent there. He knows exactly what he’s doing."