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Watch: Fullback cops controversial red card just 37 seconds into match after boot clips rival's face

A Welsh rugby player had 80 minutes to reflect on a collision he was involved in after he was sent off moments after kickoff for clipping a tackler's face with his boot while midair catching a ball.

Ospreys fullback Dan Evans received one of the fastest red card's in the game's professional history after he was dismissed just 37 seconds into the Champions Cup match due to the contact he made with Racing 92's Teddy Thomas.

After Racing 92 put up a high ball shortly after kickoff, Evans came forward to make a catch and went airborne to do so.

While attempting to catch the ball, Evans' boot made contact with Thomas' face.

Referee Frank Murphy stopped the match soon after to look at replays with TMO Olly Hodges before concluding that while Evans' contact wasn't deliberate, it was still reckless and dangerous.

Murphy tried to explain his reasoning to Evans but the fullback refused to listen and began walking off the field, leaving the ref to issue the red card to the fuming player's back.

Thomas was cleared to play the remainder of the match after a head injury assessment and went on to score twice in the 40-19 win.

Since the call on Saturday, players and coaches have come to Evans' defence, with Wales fullback Liam Williams calling the decision a shambles.

"He's trying to regain balance in the air," Williams tweeted.

Another Welshman, former international Tom Shanklin, also disagreed with the red card.

"The Dan Evans red card needs to be watched in real time. Can't see how it's a red," Shanklin said on social media.

"Studs hit face of Thomas but he is regaining balance after he fumbles the ball. When taking high balls you dont always have correct timing and need to adjust legs to maintain balance."

Ospreys coach Carl Hogg said it was just a sign of the times though after the Rugby World Cup came under fired for its record-breaking card count of eight reds and 28 yellows, many of which stemmed from debatable contacts with players' heads.

"I think it [Dan Evans' red card] was unintentional, but nowadays any contact with the head and the player's going to be in trouble,"Hogg said.