10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
The citing officer, Jon Davis, reviewed the four citing complaints, which included the one against Mustoe for stamping, and the three against Horan. He felt that there was no case to answer for the punching and kicking charges for Horan.
However, Davis did recommended that the charge against Horan for "alleged comments made during the game to another player under IRB law 10.4.k." should be taken before a disciplinary hearing. He also upheld the charge against Mustoe for stamping on Horan.
Law 10.4.k. is termed as 'Acts contrary to good sportsmanship' and relates to the alleged racist comment made by Horan to the Samoan centre Seveali'i.
Both Horan and the Munster management must both feel vindicated that two of the charges have been dismissed, but also disappointed that the final charge has been put forward for investigation. The case against Mustoe looks to be quite strong as there is strong evidence from the TV footage, but how the ERC will approach Horan's case is another matter. It is not clear what evidence there is to support the charge and it may just come down to the testimonies of players.
This is an unwelcome distraction for Horan as he is in camp with the Irish team as they prepare for the autumn test games against South Africa, USA and Argentina and will have to wait until sometime next week for the chance to clear his name.