Peter O'Mahony shown red card for 'head blow' with his elbow to become first Ireland player ever sent off in Six Nations

PETER O'MAHONY became the first ever Ireland player sent off in the Six Nations after a reckless 'head blow'.

The flanker was shown red after a TMO review early in the first-half of their opening game against Wales.


Referee Wayne Barnes was left with no option but to send the Munster captain off – after he charged into a ruck with a swinging arm.

Wales star Tomas Francis found himself in an awkward position at a breakdown – leaning backwards and facing the Irish side.

O'Mahony charged in from distance but came in too high and caught Francis in the face with his elbow.

Wayne Barnes originally ruled the clear-out as legal.

But, after reviewing the footage after a TMO interjection, O'Mahony received his marching orders.

The 31-year-old became the first ever Irish player to be sent off in the Six Nations.

Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll was among the former stars who reacted to the incident, tweeting 'That'll be red?!' as the review took place.

Former Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip told the BBC: "It's a head shot. It's reckless and he is not in control. We are trying to look after players and there is only one option for the referee.

"Tomas Francis has lowered a metre but it's not a mitigating factor."

Fellow ex-international Darren Humphreys told BBC Radio Ulster that the referee had little choice but to produce a red.

He said: "There's not really any defence for it.

"In the modern game there is a clear code of discipline that is laid out at the start of every season.

"Every player knows if you go into somebody's head at that height then you will be in trouble."

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