August 14, 2022

“It has to be the quickest red card in Test match history.”

So declared Nick Mullins on ITV as Bath and England lock Charlie Ewels was sent off against Ireland.

After only 82 seconds of action in England’s Six Nations clash against Ireland, play was stopped as James Ryan was clearly in a bad way.

Ryan had been stopped in his tracks by Ewels, but replays showed the second row had got his tackle technique all wrong. Going in to stop Ryan too high, Ewels head crunched into the side of Ryan’s, dropping him in a bundle.

French referee Mathieu Raynal discussed his red card decision as replays rolled at Twickenham. He commented:

“Leading with the head. We’ll go for a red card against 5 white.”

“Yes. High degree of danger. We’ll go with a red card.”

Iain Henderson replaced Ryan, who went off for a Head Injury Assessment, as Johnny Sexton kicked Ireland 3-0 ahead.

This is the second time in two games that Ireland have benefitted from an early red card hitting the opposition. Against Italy, their hooker Hame Faiva was sent off for a high shot on Dan Sheehan.

In 2016, Raynal red-carded CJ Stander for a hit on South Africa’s Patrick Lambie. He also sent off Bundee Aki for a high tackle on Billy Vunipola in the 2021 Six Nations.


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