‘There was provocation’: Wallabies to consider fighting Swain red card

England denied they’d deliberately baited Darcy Swain into losing his temper as the Wallabies said they’ll consider challenging the red card shown to the lock for a first-half headbutt.

Swain was sent off in the 33rd minute after match officials ruled that he’d headbutted rival lock Jonny Hill. Swain and Hill had had a running battle in the game, and the Australian’s hot-headed reaction had come after Hill had pulled Swain’s hair at a maul.

Hill, who was yellow carded for the hair pull, had earlier appeared to strike Swain in the face near a ruck, but he escaped without punishment.

A red card means a player will automatically face a judiciary panel and Swain faces a suspension that would rule him out of the rest of the England series, and possibly even into the Rugby Championship.

Asked if he felt like Swain had fallen into a trap set by England, Rennie said: “I am not sure if it was a team plan but certainly there was provocation there. Not just in that situation but earlier in the game.”

“Obviously we will have a decent look at the footage and work out how we are going to appeal that. If it’s a head butt, it is clearly a red card,” Rennie continued.

“I am not sure his intent was to head butt him. But we will look at the footage and get clarity on whether we think there is an avenue to challenge.”

England coach Eddie Jones and captain Courtney Lawes denied Hill’s behaviour was designed to draw a hot-headed response from Swain.

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