Springboks captain warned after headbutt, free to play Wales

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South Africa's captain Siya Kolisi, left, is tackled by Scotland's Hamish Watson during the rugby union international match between Scotland and South Africa at Murrayfield stadium, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

South Africa's captain Siya Kolisi, left, is tackled by Scotland's Hamish Watson during the rugby union international match between Scotland and South Africa at Murrayfield stadium, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell) (Photo: Scott Heppell)

DUBLIN (AP) — Springboks captain Siya Kolisi was cleared to play against Wales on Saturday after World Rugby decided the flanker used only "moderate force" when headbutting Scotland center Peter Horne in the face in a match at the weekend.

During the first half of South Africa's 26-20 win at Murrayfield, Kolisi used the back of his head to strike Horne while both were on the ground. Kolisi was being held by Horne.

World Rugby said on Monday Kolisi received a warning from the citing commissioner, and the offense fell short of a red card.

The governing body said there were mitigating factors including the fact that Kolisi was being "illegally prevented from rejoining the play" and there was "moderate force of the strike to the side of the head."

After losing to England to start its end-of-season tour of Europe, South Africa has beaten France and Scotland over the last two weekends.

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