Rougerie avoids gouging citing
Dublin - Aurelien Rougerie escaped being cited for alleged foul play against New Zealand captain Richie McCaw in the World Cup final despite new evidence showing the France center had a case to answer.
The International Rugby Board initially dismissed allegations that Rougerie made contact with the eye or eye area of McCaw in the second half of the October 23 final, won 8-7 by the All Blacks.
The IRB said on Tuesday subsequent video footage "indicated a possible act of foul play" but Scott Nowland, the governing body's independent citing commissioner, was unable to take any action because the new material emerged outside the 36-hour citing review period.
"(Nowland) is unable to bring the matter within the exceptional circumstances provisions contained in the tournament disciplinary rules which deal principally with mistaken identity and where further time is required to identify a player who may have committed an act of foul play," an IRB statement read.
The IRB said it will consider extending the citing period, or tweaking the meaning of exceptional circumstance.