Wednesday 17 January 2018

Mumm clear to face England as coaches engage in war of words

Mumm was cited for an alleged ‘lifting tackle’ on Tadhg Furlong that earned him a yellow card, but a three-man commission decided no further punishment was warranted. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Mumm was cited for an alleged ‘lifting tackle’ on Tadhg Furlong that earned him a yellow card, but a three-man commission decided no further punishment was warranted. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Australian flanker Dean Mumm is available for Saturday's Twickenham showdown with England after being cleared of a red-card offence during the Wallabies' defeat by Ireland.

Mumm was cited for an alleged 'lifting tackle' on Tadhg Furlong that earned him a yellow card, but a three-man commission decided no further punishment was warranted.

"The disciplinary committee then concluded that, although Mr Mumm had committed an act of foul play, the particular circumstances of the incident meant that his actions would not have warranted a red card," World Rugby said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Michael Cheika has accused Eddie Jones of attacking Australia's scrum in a bid to shroud what the Wallabies consider England's own set-piece shortcomings.

The Wallabies coach claimed that prop Dan Cole has been "infringing the law since his career started", in another sideswipe at England and Jones.

Tetchy

The build-up to Saturday's match has been underscored by an increasingly tetchy war of words between friends and former Randwick team-mates Jones and Cheika.

Former Australia boss Jones aired his concerns with the Wallabies' scrum tactics straight after England's 27-14 win over Argentina last Saturday - and now Cheika has hit back.

"He wants to talk about our scrum because we're cheating in the scrum? He's got to look at his own players," said Cheika of Jones' comments on Australia's set-piece.

Targeting Cole, who was sin-binned in England's win over Argentina, Cheika continued: "They are the ones who have a prop with a yellow card.

"That same prop has been infringing the law since his career started. The guy (Cole) has been boring in and falling down all of June - that's his tactic."

Australia will be trying to avenge a series whitewash by England on home soil earlier this year as they bid to end the hosts' run of 13 consecutive victories.

Elsewhere, Sale Sharks and Gloucester are believed to be interested in signing Connacht's Denis Buckley.

The loosehead prop was one of the Westerners' stand-out performers in their Pro12 title-winning season but he has found it tough to get international recognition on the back of his displays.

While Connacht will be desperate to keep Buckley, his contract is up at the end of the season and his form hasn't gone unnoticed by Premiership clubs whose budgets stretch further.

Elsewhere, Ulster second-row Dan Tuohy is close to a move to his hometown club Bristol before Christmas.

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