Patrick Tuipulotu tackle cited

Not quite a spanner in the works, but a date with the judiciary for All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu has proven an inconvenience in Scotland over the back half of the week.

Tuipulotu was cited out of the All Blacks' 28-23 victory over the French XV in Lyon on Tuesday night (French time) and will face a judicial hearing in Edinburgh on Friday.

Any chance Tuipulotu, who has played 15 tests but has slipped down the second-row pecking order this year, had of slipping into the test squad to face Scotland surely disappeared with news of his date with the judiciary.

It has resulted in coach Steve Hansen having to use starting No 6 Vaea Fifita as his lock cover this week, with the coach admitting it was not an ideal scenario.

 "He's not our first choice, but we've got Patrick at the judiciary on Friday," Hansen said at his Thursday team naming press conference in Edinburgh in explaining his lock cover.

"Luke [Romano] has been battered a bit too, and we've got Scotty [Barrett] who we want to keep fresh, and we've chosen to leave him right out of the group."

Tuipulotu played well in Lyon, with Hansen saying afterwards he had been "very strong".

The Aucklander said after the game, in which he scored a try, that he had looked to bring a physical presence to the All Blacks against a strong French lineup.

"You always need to be physical and get the pack going forward," he said of his mindset. "With a lot of young guys and new people in the team it was on me to lead with some physicality."

World Rugby believe he may have overstepped the mark, announcing that Tuipulotu had been cited for a "dangerous charge" in the Lyon game, understood to be against French XV No 8 Marco Tauleigne.

Independent judicial officer Roger Morris of Wales will conduct the hearing.



Photo by: SKY SPORT. Caption: French No 8 Marco Tauleigne was rocked back in the tackle.