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Wales hooker responds to Galthié claims that they play for red cards

BY Stephen Brunsdon  ·  Tuesday Mar 23, 2021

France head coach Fabien Galthié caused a bit of a stir after he suggested that Wales players were “specialists” in forcing red cards from their 6 Nations opponents.

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Speaking in the post-match press conference following his side’s epic 32-30 victory at the Stade de France on Saturday evening, Galthié said that he disagreed with the sending off of second-row forward Paul Willemse late in the game, for contact with the eyes of prop Wyn Jones.

Galthié said that he didn’t think Willemse deserved a long ban, despite Chris Ashton receiving a 10-week suspension for a similar incident, and went further to claim that Wayne Pivac’s Welsh side made it a tactical ploy to play up to the officials.

“He doesn’t deserve a heavy sanction,” Galthié said. “I think he deserves some clemency. When you look at the images, you see that the contact is minimal and unintentional. You see the Welsh player [milking] the scene.

“It is a team which specialises in red cards for the opposition. I hope they [disciplinary commission] will see that it didn’t warrant a red card.”


There was no doubt that Willemse made contact with the eyes of Jones and no matter how hard the contact was, the letter of the law states that the player must be shown a red card.

Wales hooker Ken Owens was one opposing player to hit back at Galthié’s words, and told Wales Online:

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“All I can really do is defend my team-mates. And I can say one thing that we don’t do on the pitch, and that is actively trying to get players sent off. If I’m completely honest, I think it’s a little bit ridiculous.

“Because it’s something we certainly don’t go looking to do. He can have his opinion.”

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