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Wycherley Suspended For Three Weeks Following Glasgow Red Card

Wycherley Suspended For Three Weeks Following Glasgow Red Card

Following his red card during last Friday’s GUINNESS PRO14 loss to Glasgow Warriors, Munster’s Fineen Wycherley today faced a disciplinary panel in Neath via video conference where he received a three-week ban.

Fineen Wycherley, the 19-year-old Munster Academy member, was deemed to be in breach of Law 10.4 (a) – punching or striking: a player must not strike an opponent with the hand, arm or fist, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).

The Bantry-born youngster, who played for the Ireland Under-20s last season, was dismissed by referee Nigel Owens following the act of foul play against Glasgow’s Tim Swinson in the 75th minute.

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The disciplinary panel, comprising of Simon Thomas (chair), Rhian Williams and Richard Cole (all Wales), concluded that Wycherley was guilty of ‘reckless rather than intentional behaviour’ and therefore warranted a mid-range sanction point of six weeks.

Considering the player and Munster’s arguments that the action (a shoulder charge) was not intentional and the player’s previous clean record, the panel applied full mitigation of 50% and reduced the ban to three weeks.

That means Wycherley, who was reminded of his right to appeal, will be available to play from Monday, October 16. He will be unavailable for this weekend’s home match against Cardiff Blues, next week’s interprovincial derby against Leinster and the Champions Cup opener away to Castres Olympique.

Wycherley’s ban leaves Munster without another second row option. Worryingly for the coaching staff, locks of the calibre of Darren O’Shea (shoulder), new signing Gerbrant Grobler (ankle) and Dave O’Callaghan (knee) are all long-term absentees and Jean Kleyn, who began the season in a rich vein of form, saw a specialist yesterday regarding the neck injury he sustained in Glasgow.

In more positive news, new signing Mark Flanagan linked up with the Munster squad on Monday. The former Leinster lock has joined Rassie Erasmus’ men from Saracens on a short-term loan deal.

The province’s injury update this week confirmed that Academy forward Sean O’Connor is being managed by the medical team after a neck injury forced him off midway through the first half against the Warriors. Both Jack O’Donoghue and Darren Sweetnam failed head injury assessments during the round 4 fixture and are following the return-to-play protocols.

Director of rugby Erasmus also hinted that the Lions contingent of Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander could be in line for a return to action against Cardiff this Saturday, while newcomer Flanagan will ‘probably get thrown into the mix’.

“Mark is here with us but he’ll only be starting to train with us today (Monday) because it (the loan deal) was only sorted out last week,” he said. “We’ve got Robin Copeland who can play second row and Sean O’Connor shouldn’t be out for a long time and hopefully a guy like Jean Kleyn is next week back into the mix. It’s one of those things – injuries come and go.”

Commenting on the Wycherley incident, the South African admitted: “It’s maybe frustration on Fineen’s side. He’s maybe not accurate enough because he’s definitely not the kind of guy who would hit a guy in the face on purpose.”