South Africa’s Siya Kolisi escapes ban for headbutt on Scotland’s Pete Horne

Siya Kolisi in action for South Africa against Scotland at BT Murrayfield in the Autumn Test. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Siya Kolisi in action for South Africa against Scotland at BT Murrayfield in the Autumn Test. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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Siya Kolisi has escaped a ban from World Rugby despite the South Africa captain being found guilty of “striking with the head” during Saturday’s Autumn Test win over Scotland.

The Boks skipper clashed with Pete Horne around half an hour into the match at BT Murrayfield, with South Africa leading 17-10.

Horne appeared to prevent the Stormers flanker from getting up off the ground with his opponent reacting by throwing his head backwards and connecting with Horne, with match officials missing the incident at the time.

But Kolisi has received an official warning from the citing commissioner for offences “just short” of a World Rugby’s red card criteria rather than being hit with a ban that would have ruled him out of Saturday’s match with Wales.

• READ MORE - Rassie Erasmus expects commissioner to take a look at ‘headbutt’

The governing body said that mitigating factors were behind the decision not to cite Kolisi, inclduing the Glasgow Warriors man “illegally preventing Kolisi rejoining play” and the “moderate force of the strike to the head”.

The warning will sit on Kolisi’s disciplinary record but the decision means he is free to captain the Springboks against Wales on Saturday.

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus had said after the game that he expected the citing commissioner to probe the incident, adding: “If there was anything serious and we are in the wrong, what comes our way we have to accept.

“I know him as a player and as a man so I’d be surprised.”