The England full-back was sent off by Jaco Peyper against Ireland


Freddie Steward has escaped a ban after his red card against Ireland was rescinded by a disciplinary commission that found there was sufficient mitigation in his collision with Hugo Keenan.

England full-back Steward was shown red by referee Jaco Peyper after an awkward incident where the Leicester Tigers man appeared to try and avoid any impact by turning his body, only for his elbow to make contact with Keenan’s head.

The coming together occurred on the stroke of half-time when Ireland winger Mack Hansen knocked the ball on attempting to offload out of the tackle and both Steward and his Irish counterpart Keenan attacked the loose ball with the Leinster man winning the race to gather it.

Watch Steward red card that has been rescinded

After consulting with his TMO, South African official Peyper suggested there was no mitigation and a high level of force but an independent disciplinary commission ruled there was sufficient mitigation to downgrade red to yellow.

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On Tuesday night, the commission amended the charge Steward was facing from Law 9.13 which states “a player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders” to Law 9.11 which decrees “players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others including leading with the elbow or forearm, or jumping into, or over, a tackler”.

The mitigating factors found included the late change in dynamics and positioning of the opposition player.

After a public reversal of Peyper’s decision, a statement added: “The committee acknowledged that match officials are required to make decisions under pressure and in the heat of a live match environment.”

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