Wallabies ace Israel Folau will miss the NSW Waratahs' crucial Super Rugby clash with the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night after he failed to have his one-match ban overturned on appeal.
Folau fronted a high-stakes appeal hearing on Thursday night after he was banned from one match by a World Rugby judiciary panel on Wednesday night for his aerial contact on Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony in last weekend's third Test loss.
The appeal, via video link, was heard by an all-northern hemisphere panel of chairman Antony Davies (England), Beth Dickens (Scotland) and Olly Kohn (Wales).
The dismissal of the appeal will see Folau sidelined for the Waratahs' top of the Australian conference clash with the Rebels at AAMI Park.
The Waratahs are already missing skipper Michael Hooper with a hamstring injury and will surrender first place to Melbourne with a loss.
Folau was involved in two mid-air collisions with O'Mahony as he jumped to reclaim the ball from Wallabies' kick offs, both of which ended with the Irish skipper falling awkwardly.
He was yellow carded for the second one but later cited for the first.
The citing commissioner, New Zealand's Michael O'Leary, said Folau had "placed his left hand on O'Mahony's chest", which had pulled the flanker "over and he toppled to the ground".
Folau was initially banned after a hearing by a panel chaired by Shao Wang (Singapore), Val Toma (Romania) and Eroni Clarke (NZ) but World Rugby did not release details of how they came to their conclusion.
Earlier,Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson had warned the outcome raised issues for the aerial contest in rugby and the rules might need to be changed if Folau was banned.
Some critics have suggested Ireland were at fault for a precarious one-man lift on O'Mahony provided by teammate CJ Stander.
Wallabies flanker Ned Hanigan on Thursday predicted the Folau appeal finding would set a precedent involving actions after contesting the ball.
"I think the issue with Israel is people are seeing a bit differently just because it's that grey area," Hanigan told Rugby.com.au.
"I think if you've got a bloke who's genuinely not able to catch the ball and flying into a one-man lift, that's obviously what we don't want in our game, it's a safety reason.
"But if you've got a genuine contest and things do go wrong, so that's where the onus would come in on the lifter."
"I think the issue is he (Folau) is genuinely going for the ball and it's the actions that he does when he's coming back to the ground...
"I honestly reckon it'll be a bit of a milestone or precedent to what will come in the future, with these types of issues."