World Rugby is investigating after referee Jaco Peyper appeared in a photo with Wales fans seemingly mocking France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina.
Vahaamahina was red-carded by Peyper for throwing an elbow in a decisive moment as France let a 12-point lead slip to lose to Wales in the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
Leading France official Serge Simon said if true the photo was “shocking”.
Jaco Peyper dans un bel hommage à Vahaamahina. Photo de Fabien Heuzé pic.twitter.com/g5vo93413s— Arnaud Coudry (@ArnaudCoudry) October 20, 2019
World Rugby is trying to “establish the facts” surrounding the picture.
French Rugby Federation vice-president Simon, a former France prop, said on Twitter: “This photo if it is true is shocking and explanations will be necessary.”
World Rugby said: “World Rugby is aware of a picture on social media of referee Jaco Peyper with a group of Wales fans taken after last night’s [Sunday] quarter-final between Wales and France in Oita.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further while we are establishing the facts.”