Wales v Australia, Cardiff, December 1
Howley labels Hore challenge a 'disgrace'
November 26, 2012
Wales' Aaron Jarvis has been ruled out of Saturday's clash with Australia after picking up a knee injury against the All Blacks last weekend © PA Photos
Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has launched a scathing attack on New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore and labelled his challenge on lock Bradley Davies as a "disgrace".
Davies was hospitalised after being struck from behind by a swinging arm from Hore in the opening moments of the All Blacks 33-10 victory at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Hore has since been cited for allegedly striking Davies and is expected to face a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday where Howley expects him to be handed a lengthy ban.
"What Hore did has got no place on a rugby field, as far as I am concerned," Howley said. "It was an absolute disgrace. He has been cited, and I am sure it won't be taken too lightly. Situations and incidents like that have no place on the rugby field, and it had a huge impact on the game."
Referee Craig Joubert and his his assistants missed the challenge and unlike the Aviva Premiership, Television Match Officials for Test matches are not currently allowed to advise on any suspected foul play. Had Hore's challenge been seen then he could have expected a red card that would have probably altered the course of the game.
Howley added: "I am sure if he (referee) had seen it, action would have been taken. Whether you are licensed to go to the TMO on such decisions, I think that is for the IRB (International Rugby Board) to recommend."
Pressed on the issue today, All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said: "Andrew has been cited, we have something on Wednesday, and I can't say too much about it. What I will say is that our goal is to play physical, attractive rugby. We believe we are doing that. It is unfortunate that something has happened, and we will deal with it through the appropriate channels. Full stop."
Wales remain hopeful that Davies will be cleared for this weekend's crunch clash with Australia where the hosts most avoid defeat if they are not to slump outside the top eight in the world ranking and be handed a nightmare 2015 Rugby World Cup draw.
Head coach Warren Gatland has put back his scheduled team announcement by 48 hours until Thursday because of what the Welsh Rugby Union describe as "ongoing injury concerns". Regarding Davies, the WRU said: "Bradley Davies is back in the Wales camp after spending some time in hospital on Saturday night. He is recovering from severe concussion and following the appropriate return to play protocols. He is not training today, but it is still too soon to reach any further conclusions."
The news is not so good for prop Aaron Jarvis who picked up a knee ligament injury in his side's latest outing. Jarvis will undergo further assessment later today with a view to determining the need for surgery.
The WRU say six further players on the injury list will benefit from the extra time afforded by a delayed team announcement. Centre Jamie Roberts (hip) will not train during the early part of this week, while flanker Ryan Jones has stitches in a head wound and will also only do limited training.
Wing George North (hip) remains in contention to return after missing the All Blacks game, while lock Ian Evans (knee) was scheduled to undergo a fitness test today and fly-half Dan Biggar was due to do limited training following a shoulder problem.
Bath prop Paul James and Perpignan utility back James Hook have returned to their clubs as the Australia match falls outside the International Rugby Board's autumn Test window, but France-based trio Mike Phillips, Gethin Jenkins and Luke Charteris have remained with Wales.
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