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O’Callaghan Handed Two-Week Ban

O’Callaghan Handed Two-Week Ban

Munster lock Donncha O’Callaghan has been given a two-week suspension for an incident involving Ulster’s Stuart Olding during last Friday’s derby clash at Thomond Park. He will be suspended up to Sunday, December 14, meaning he will miss the Reds’ back-to-back European games against Clermont Auvergne.

Donncha O’Callaghan appeared before an independent disciplinary committee in Glasgow today, having been cited by an independent citing commissioner for allegedly kicking Stuart Olding early in the second half of the GUINNESS PRO12 match between the provinces.

The disciplinary committee, chaired by Professor Lorne Crerar, along with Roddy Dunlop and Iain Goodall (all Scotland), having reviewed video footage of the incident and having listened to representations from, and on behalf of, the player, found that O’Callaghan had committed an act of foul play and upheld the citing complaint.
In determining sanction, the disciplinary committee’s view was that the player’s actions had been reckless, that the primary contact with the opponent had been on his shoulder and chest area, and that in terms of seriousness the player’s actions were at the lower end of World Rugby’s sanctions for foul play, which carries a four-week entry-point suspension.

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In light of compelling mitigation factors, including O’Callaghan’s unblemished and long playing career, together with his conduct at the hearing, the disciplinary committee determined that the player should be suspended from playing for a period of two weeks, up to and including Sunday, December 14.
The player was reminded of his right of appeal.
Law 10.4 (c ) A player must not kick an opponent

Commenting afterwards, Munster team manager Niall O’Donovan, who accompanied O’Callaghan to the hearing, said: “We are obviously disappointed with today’s outcome. Donncha has a long and unblemished professional rugby career spanning seventeen seasons and takes great pride in his conduct on and off the field.

“The committee accepted the action wasn’t intentional and decided the entry point for the offence to be at the lower-range, the four weeks reduced to two in mitigation.”

In other Munster news, head coach Anthony Foley met with the media today after training in Limerick and confirmed that he is waiting to see how Robin Copeland and Andrew Smith progress with their rehab before making any decision on their involvement in Saturday’s European Champions Cup round 4 showdown with Clermont Auvergne.

Centre Smith is showing signs of improvement and the swelling has gone down in his knee, while fellow knee injury victim Copeland took part in the morning session today but did not participate in the field session.

Foley also confirmed that Paddy Butler took a knock to his hip against Ulster and followed some rehab running today, while prop Alan Cotter tore his bicep in the Munster ‘A’ team’s victory over Nottingham in Cork last Saturday.

New centre Pat Howard, who is currently following return-to-play protocols, was nominated as an additional player to join Munster’s Champions Cup panel today, taking the place of out-half Johnny Holland who was de-registered after he tore his hamstring during the Munster ‘A’ v Nottingham fixture.