Pape cited for Heaslip incident

France lock Pascal Pape has been cited for kneeing Ireland's Jamie Heaslip in the back
France lock Pascal Pape has been cited for kneeing Ireland's Jamie Heaslip in the back

France lock Pascal Pape will face a disciplinary hearing for the knee to the back that could yet end Jamie Heaslip's participation in this year's RBS 6 Nations.

Pape was sin-binned for kneeing Heaslip in a ruck in Ireland's 18-11 victory in Dublin on Saturday.

Referee Wayne Barnes ruled the action was intentional after video review, but declined to hand the 34-year-old a red card.

Independent citing commissioner Stefano Marrama from Italy has deemed the incident worthy of further investigation however, and Pape will appear before a disciplinary commission later this week.

"Pascal Pape, second row forward for France, has been cited by the independent citing commissioner at the RBS 6 Nations match between Ireland and France in Dublin on Saturday, for the incident in the 52nd minute of the match for which the player received a yellow card," read a Six Nations statement.

Ireland number eight Heaslip limped off soon after the challenge, leaving head coach Joe Schmidt sweating on his fitness.

The 31-year-old Leinster star was undergoing scans on Sunday night, with Ireland expected to issue an update on his fitness on Monday afternoon.

Schmidt admitted Heaslip was "very uncomfortable" in the immediate aftermath of Saturday's Aviva Stadium clash.

France boss Philippe Saint-Andre claimed Pape's challenge was accidental, but the Stade Francais lock could now face a ban.

"When you watch the images of the incident I don't think you can say it was deliberate," said Saint-Andre after the match.

"However, I said to Pascal you received a yellow card just at the moment we were gaining the upper hand both physically and territorially as we were in their 22.

"Although we didn't concede many points it was still a pivotal moment. You expect something like that from an inexperienced player, not one with over 50 Tests under his belt. It was the worst possible moment for that to happen."