All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu's continued involvement in New Zealand's Grand Slam rugby tour is in jeopardy after he was cited for an alleged head butt on England captain Lewis Moody during yesterday's heated clash at Twickenham.

Mealamu will face an International Rugby Board (IRB) judicial hearing in Edinburgh after citing commissioner John West reviewed footage of the incident which occurred 10 minutes into the second half of the All Blacks 26-16 victory.

Replays appear to indicate Mealamu grasped Moody's jersey and then made contact with the back of his head when diving into a ruck.

Moody needed treatment after the collision but was able to play on until he was substituted for debutant Hendre Fourie in the final quarter.

All Blacks head coach Graham Henry said management received notification of Mealamu's citing shortly after the team arrived from London ahead of Sunday's (NZT) test with Scotland at Murrayfield.

"He's been cited for striking the head," said Henry, who said he had not yet seen a replay of the incident.

"It surprises me. He's probably the cleanest player in the world isn't he?

"It was purely accidental as far as I know."

British media reports suggested Moody may have made derogatory remarks about Mealamu's family before the incident - Henry said he had not yet discussed the issue with one of the key members of his leadership group.

If Mealamu, reviled in the UK and Ireland for his role in a spear tackle that injured 2005 British and Irish Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll in the opening minutes of that series - is suspended the All Blacks hooking stocks could be a potential weakness for the remainder of the tour.

Andrew Hore is still continuing his rehabilitation from a shoulder dislocation suffered in the last round of the Super 14 in May; Hawke's Bay's Hika Elliot was on the bench yesterday - and during the Bledisloe Cup defeat to the Wallabies in Hong Kong - but is yet to be entrusted with any game time.

It was always anticipated Hore would play against the Scots though his workload would increase significantly if Mealamu - who captained the All Blacks for the first time at Murrayfield in 2008 - is banned.

Another option is John Afoa, a prop who can also cover hooker as a last resort.

Henry probably views Mealamu's hearing - the timing of which was yet to be confirmed - with a sense of trepidation given Springbok lock Bakkies Botha was suspended for nine weeks after head butting All Blacks halfback Jimmy Cowan in the back of the head during the Tri-Nations test at Auckland in July.

Moody was also at the centre of another skirmish late in the first half when he grappled with All Blacks blindside flanker Jerome Kaino for several moments.

Media outlets published photographs of their altercation, which shows both men trading blows before teammates broke up the melee.

Rotorua-born England hooker Dylan Hartley was also involved in an alleged off the ball incident with Richie McCaw - with replays suggesting the All Blacks captain was elbowed in the head.

French referee Romain Poite did not see Mealamu's alleged indiscretion; he also chose to take no action against Moody and Kaino while Hartley also avoided censure.

Meanwhile, Neemia Tialata's 43-test career has been revived thanks to the back spasms Ben Franks suffered during a stretching session in the team hotel on Friday.

Franks, who has a history of back issues, had been named on the bench yesterday but was replaced by Afoa.

"He wouldn't be able to play in the next two tests (Scotland and Ireland) and would have been doubtful for Wales," Henry said.

"It's a real pity for Ben, he's been an excellent guy in the group this year."

Although he has not featured in the All Blacks squad since the Wales test at Hamilton in June, Tialata's ability to play both sides of the front row strengthened his case for a recall.

Wing Cory Jane is still recovering from the rib injury he suffered against the Wallabies in Hong Kong and was unlikely to play Scotland, though Hosea Gear's form against the English ensured the absence of his Wellington and Hurricanes teammate was hardly noticeable.

- NZPA