LONDON (AP) — The red card given to England fullback Freddie Steward in the team's Six Nations rugby loss to Ireland has been overturned after a disciplinary panel ruled the offense only merited a yellow card.
England announced the panel's decision on Wednesday, after Steward appeared before a virtual disciplinary hearing late Tuesday.
Steward was sent off in the 40th minute for what was deemed a dangerous challenge to the head of Hugo Keenan that ended the Ireland fullback’s game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. The score was 10-6 to the Irish at that point and they went on to win 29-16, clinching the title and the Grand Slam.
England’s players looked frustrated at the on-field decision by referee Jaco Peyper to show Steward a red card.
Confirming in a statement that Steward is free to play again, the panel noted that “match officials are required to make decisions under pressure and in the heat of a live match environment."