Samoa's Ray Lee-Lo. Image Credit: AFP

Tokyo: Cardiff Blues centre Rey Lee-Lo and London Irish hooker Motu Matu’u were cited on Wednesday for acts of foul play in Samoa’s bruising 34-9 World Cup opening win over Russia.

The pair will attend hearings before an independent judicial committee at a date to be agreed with the players and their representatives.

Samoa winger Ed Fidow also received a citing commissioner warning for an act of foul play in the same match.

“This remains on his disciplinary record in the event that he accumulates any combination of three warnings or yellow cards during the tournament,” World Rugby said in a statement.

Samoa, World Cup quarter-finalists in 1991 and 1995, were reduced to 13 men in the first half after Lee-Lo and Matu’u were both yellow-carded by French referee Romain Poite for separate high tackles on Russia captain Vasily Artemyev.

In both cases, Poite decided against giving a red card, saying there were mitigating circumstances for the high shots as Artemyev stooped as he was tackled.

Refereeing has been in the spotlight after World Rugby took the unusual step of criticising standards at the World Cup, following a number of controversies.