France coach Aurelien Cologni says Gareth Ellis should not have escaped a ban

Last Updated: 05/11/12 4:21pm

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Gareth Ellis: Will be available to face France in Autumn International Series final

Gareth Ellis: Will be available to face France in Autumn International Series final

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France coach Aurelien Cologni insists that England forward Gareth Ellis should not have escaped suspension for his tackle on Cyril Stacul.

Ellis was put on report by New Zealand referee Shane Rehm during England's 44-6 win over France on Saturday following a high tackle that left full-back Stacul with concussion.

The incident was reviewed on Monday morning by a Rugby Football League match-review panel which ruled that Ellis would face no further action.

And Cologni has criticised that decision, saying that Ellis should not be allowed to play against his side in the Autumn International Series final at the City of Salford Stadium on Sunday.

"It was a tough game and I like strong defence but I did not agree with the contact. It was not really fair," Cologni said.

"The player was injured and cannot play next weekend so it's a bad consequence for him and I cannot agree with that. It should have been a minimum one game (ban)."

Cologni said that Stacul, who could not remember the 14th-minute incident, was one of three players returning to France because of injury.

"It was a tough game and I like strong defence but I did not agree with the contact. It was not really fair."
Aurelien Cologni

England coach Steve McNamara welcomed the decision to clear Ellis of foul play, believing there was no intent to harm involved in the tackle.

Unfortunate

McNamara said: "First and foremost I hope Cyril is okay. Gareth's available and I never expected him not to be. I thought it was an unfortunate challenge. These things sometimes happen in a contact sport."

In addition to Stacul, back rower Gregory Mounis is out with a dislocated shoulder and prop Mickael Simon will miss the clash with a chest injury.

Cologni has called up Carcassonne centre Teddy Sadaiou and Catalan prop Julien Bousquet, while back-rower Andrew Bentley was also initially drafted in but will now not be available after picking up a suspension playing for Lezignan.

In contrast, McNamara has no injury worries and is set to pick from a full-strength 24-man squad, although he will check on the fitness of Wigan loose forward Sean O'Loughlin, who missed Saturday's game with a hamstring strain.

"We've another clean bill of health, which is credit to the conditioning and medical staff and a little bit of fortune," McNamara said.

"We had some tough decisions to make last week and we'll look at it again when we get back into camp.

"It's a good position to be in. We'll be going with our strongest team this week, as has been our policy throughout last year and this in terms of trying to keep that continuity and some consistency.

"It doesn't mean to say we won't make a change or two if it's deemed necessary but it seems to be working for us at the minute."

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