Tomas Francis ban: Exeter head coach Rob Baxter wants law clarity

Tomas Francis
Francis was given an eight-week ban in March after "making contact with the eye or eye area" of Dan Cole during Wales' Six Nations loss to England

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter wants clarity over the interpretation of the rules after Tomas Francis was banned for two weeks for kicking an opponent.

The Chiefs prop was sent off against Harlequins on Saturday after his shin struck Danny Care's head as he went to kick a loose ball at a ruck.

Baxter has already defended the 24-year-old Welshman, saying there was "no malice" and he went for the ball.

"Referees should have a choice on if it should be a red card or not," he said.

Baxter referenced an incident last season, when Exeter scrum-half Will Chudley was cleared of an alleged kick on Wasps lock Joe Launchbury.

"That was deemed, to the letter of the law by a disciplinary panel, to be no offence," Baxter told BBC Radio Devon before Francis' RFU tribunal.

"The law hasn't changed at all [but] World Rugby have instructed referees that they should now issue a red card. That to me is going from one extreme to the other."

Francis became the first Exeter player to be sent off in the Premiership following his dismissal in the final minutes of the 36-25 win over Quins at Sandy Park.

"There's a huge amount of ambiguity, and until we see something in writing that says 'this is what our referees have been told and this is how we expect them to referee', then I think it's putting referees in a difficult scenario," Baxter said.

"It would be nice to have a bit of clarity around what we are expecting from everybody."

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