World Rugby to investigate referee Peyper following photo with Wales fans

World Rugby to investigate referee Peyper following photo with Wales fans

Peyper, taking charge of his 50th Test, sent Vahaamahina off in Wales' dramatic Rugby World Cup triumph over Les Bleus on Sunday, with the lock dismissed for elbowing Aaron Wainwright.

But the South Africa official has now invited controversy on to himself after a picture emerged on social media showing him posing with Welsh fans and playfully landing an elbow on to the head of one.

The French Rugby Federation has called for an investigation into a photo of referee Jaco Peyper in which he appears to make fun of Sebastien Vahaamahina's sending off.

World Rugby issued a statement saying it was aware of the picture but that it would be "inappropriate to comment further while we are establishing the facts".

Sébastien Vahaamahina has decided retire from worldwide rugby, just one day on from receiving a red card which played a major role in France's World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Wales.

The head coaches from both teams involved agreed it had been the correct decision to send off Vahaamahina, who had earlier scored France's first try in the match.

"The officials dealt with it appropriately".

"Rugby is heat of the moment stuff and he made an error of judgement. He's made a poor decision".

"The people impacted by this decision have known since this summer: Jacques Brunel, Franck Azema, some players also".

The 49th-minute red card was crucial to Wales' comeback victory over France, however Les Bleus coach Brunel refused to blame the decision for the heartbreaking loss.

"Of course it changed the game".

Following a brief deliberation, Vahaamahina was shown a red card and France were forced to battle on with 14 men.

World Rugby announced that Vahaamahina will face a disciplinary hearing on Thursday following his dismissal.

The towering lock will appear before an independent judicial committee chaired by England's Mike Hamlin.

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