Pelous apologises for elbowing Cannon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pelous apologises for elbowing Cannon

By Jean-Paul Couret 09/11/2005 05:50:00 AM Comments (0)

France captain Fabien Pelous has admitted elbowing Australia's Brendan Cannon last weekend but said it was an instinctive act and has offered his apologies to the Wallabies hooker.

The lock was cited by the International Rugby Board (IRB) commissioner after Saturday's match in Marseille, which France won 26-16.

"I never had the intention of assaulting Cannon and harming him," he told journalists at the French training camp in Marcoussis. "It was a stupid and purely instinctive gesture.

"I apologise to Cannon for injuring him and also for preventing him from playing for the last 10 minutes."

Pelous will appear in front of a disciplinary committee in London on Wednesday and could be handed a ban ranging from two weeks to a year.

"I was upset when I saw the video of the incident," Pelous said. "The ball was gone, I was running upfield to put pressure on Australia's kicker when Cannon changed direction and cut my path.

"I flung out my elbow to go through. It was stupid but I did it without premeditation, stupidly and purely instinctively."

Pelous said he hoped the IRB commission would see he had acted in good faith.

"I hope they will because in my mind there was never an intention to assault Cannon," he said. "I'm going to London to defend myself. I hope I'll be cleared and if I'm punished I hope the suspension will as short as possible."

The 31-year-old Toulouse second rower, who boasts 102 caps, also said he hoped the commission would take into account the fact that he had a good disciplinary record.

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