18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
The Ospreys have indicated three alleged incidents for which they have cited the Munster and Ireland prop during their Heineken Cup game last weekend. The most serious of these is the alleged racial abuse of their Samoan centre Elvis Sveali'i, claiming that Horan used racist language' against him during the game.
The Ospreys have also cited Horan for allegedly punching the Samoan after he was penalised for high tackling Munster's John Kelly and also kicking out at Richard Mustoe after he had been illegally tackled by the Ospreys winger off the ball.
Mustoe himself was cited for what looked like, from the clear TV footage, an obvious flick with his boot to Horan's head which resulted in Horan leaving the field to receive stitches. Mustoe received a yellow card for the early tackle on Horan, but the incident of using the boot was not seen and so this meant that Mustoe could be cited.
The Munster Branch issued a statement last night supporting Horan and saying that they totally refute the serious allegations of racial abuse and believes that Marcus Horan has no case to answer in relation to any of the charges levelled against him.
Horan has never had any disciplinary problems in the past and will certainly be presenting a strong case for his innocence.
This is the situation that the ERC did not want as they had brought in new procedures this season to eradicate the pattern of tit for tat' citings that was emerging. There is now an independent citing officer appointed by the ERC, who will decide if there is a case to answer.
If there is a case to answer, a disciplinary panel will be put together and an independent prosecuting officer, rather than Munster, would press the case. A decision on the citings is expected either today or tomorrow with any cases expected to be heard early next week.