New Zealand suffered a double blow on Sunday, with hooker Kevin Mealamu cited for head-butting and prop Ben Franks ruled out of the remained of their tour to the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Mealamu was cited for head-butting an opponent in the All Blacks’ 26-16 win over England at Twickenham at the weekend. The IRB appointed citing commissioner for the match, John West of Ireland, cited the New Zealand hooker, Mealamu, for an act contrary to Law 10.4(a), striking with the head. The IRB appointed judicial officer Lorne Crerar will hear the case at a date and venue to be confirmed.
The offence, which can be clearly seen on television, happened when Mealamu struck England captain Lewis Moody in the 50th minute of the game.
Meanwhile prop Ben Franks will return home after suffering a back injury during a stretching session at the team hotel in London on Friday. He will be replaced by Wellington’s Neemia Tialata. All Blacks Doctor Deb Robinson said 26-year-old Franks had a scan in London on Sunday, which had confirmed he had a small disc bulge in his lower back.
The 28-year-old Tialata has played 43 Tests for the All Blacks since his debut in 2005 and last played for the All Blacks in the Tests against Ireland and Wales in New Zealand in June this year.
New Zealand play Scotland next, as they look to record another ‘grand slam’ of victories over the four Home Unions – with games against Ireland and Wales to follow.Tweet