Seán O’Brien could miss decider against All Blacks after citing
Ireland flanker faces charge of ‘allegedly striking All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo’
British and Irish Lions flanker Seán O’Brien could miss the decisive third Test against New Zealand next week after being cited for dangerous play during Saturday’s 24-21 victory over the All Blacks.
O’Brien’s forearm clearly made contact with the face of All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo as the Irish loose forward joined a tackle in the 59th minute of the match in Wellington.
Naholo was taken from the pitch for a concussion test, which he failed, forcing his replacement. Referee Jerome Garces, who had sin-binned Lions prop Mako Vunipola only minutes before, took no action on the pitch.
“Citing Commissioner Scott Nowland (Australia) has cited O’Brien under law 10.4 (a) for allegedly striking All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo with a swinging arm,” read a New Zealand Rugby statement.
“The Citing Commissioner said the incident, in the 19th minute of the second half, is deemed to have met the threshold for a red card.”
O’Brien has played both Tests for the Lions on this tour and losing him for next Saturday’s match at Eden Park would be a setback for Warren Gatland’s side.
O’Brien’s hearing will take place in Wellington at 8pm local time [9am Irish time on Sunday] in front of a three-man Australian judicial panel that includes former Munster secondrow John Langford.