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 followed the decision by Munster to cite Ospreys winger Richard Mustoe for a blatant stamp on the face of Horan as he lay on the ground during the first half of the game.
Mustoe was consequently found guilty of the offence and was handed a 12 week suspension from all rugby at the same disciplinary hearing. An ERC statement said: "The Committee found that Richard Mustoe intentionally kicked Marcus Horan and that Mr. Mustoe was reckless as to whether the kick landed on the body or the head of Mr Horan."
In terms of Horan's charge, the statement continued by saying "..the Committee did not find it established that Mr. Horan, or anyone else on the Munster team, had made the remark complained of." The statement supported Horan further by dispelling any doubt by adding, The Committee went further and held that the alleged remark had not been made."
The final remark indicates that there was no doubt in the committee's minds that Horan was innocent and that in fact the remark never actually took place. This does not reflect well on the Ospreys as it seems to lead to the conclusion that the charge never had any grounding in fact.
The hearing must have been a big worry for Horan as he was in camp with the Irish Squad preparing for the autumn internationals and although he would have been sure of his innocence, the outcome must be a big relief.
This was also good news for Irish Coach Eddie O'Sullivan who said: "We were never in any doubt that Marcus would be cleared of the charge and we are delighted that this has happened, allowing him to concentrate fully in preparing for the South Africa test."