French fullback Benjamin Fall has had his red card issued in the second Test between the All Blacks and France cancelled at a World Rugby judicial hearing today.
Fall was shown red by referee Angus Gardner in the 11th minute of the first half of the match in Wellington after a collision with an aerial Beauden Barrett resulted in the All Blacks first-five landing dangerously on his head - he was concussed as a result.
Fall was ordered off the field under Law 9.17 for tackling, charging, pulling, pushing or grasping an opponent whose feet were off the ground.
But World Rugby has decided after a "detailed review" of the incident, the contact was not worthy of the send off.
"As demonstrated in the video footage, the Player, at all times, had his eyes on the ball whilst it was in the air, which showed, in our opinion, a clear intention, on the part of the Player, that he intended to contest it," the judiciary said.
"Whilst it is unfortunate that NZ #10 sustained a concussion after landing on his head, was removed from the match and is unlikely to be available for the third Test match we did not consider that the Player’s actions, in the circumstances of this case, were deliberate or reckless.
"In our opinion, as supported by all the video footage, the Player’s actions were accidental... therefore, having regard to the totality of the evidence, the Judicial Committee was satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the referee’s decision to issue the red card was wrong."
The committee also made sure not to blame Gardner for his handling of the situation.
"It is important to record, that no criticism is made of the referee nor, in our opinion, would any be warranted.
Unlike the referee we had the benefit of all the video footage, which showed various angles of the incident - we had the luxury of time to deliberate and consider, in private, the incident."