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Ulster’s O’Connor Given Three-Week Ban

Ulster’s O’Connor Given Three-Week Ban

Ulster lock Alan O’Connor has been suspended for three weeks after appearing before an independent PRO12 rugby disciplinary committee today.

Alan O’Connor was cited for a dangerous tackle – under law 10.4(e) – on Glasgow Warriors centre Mark Bennett in last Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO12 match at Kingspan Stadium.

The disciplinary committee, chaired by Roger Morris (Wales) along with Rhian Williams (Wales) and Dr. Barry O’Driscoll (Ireland), having viewed footage of the incident, considered evidence of the injuries suffered by Bennett, who was left unconscious, and listened to representations made by and on behalf of the player.

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The disciplinary committee found that the incident was at the mid-range of the IRB sanctions for this type of offence, carrying a six-week sanction.

In the absence of any aggravating factors and in light of several compelling mitigating factors, including the player’s exemplary previous playing record, the disciplinary committee applied a three-week reduction from the entry point and suspended the player from playing for three weeks.

That means O’Connor, who has started Ulster’s last two PRO12 games, is free to resume playing from Monday, November 3 and has the right of appeal.

The 22-year-old will miss the province’s first two European Champions Cup clashes with Leicester Tigers and Toulon as well as the November 1 date with the Dragons in the PRO12.

Law 10.4(e): A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. A player must not tackle (or try to tackle) an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the opponent’s neck or head is dangerous play.