Leinster prop Cian Healy has been suspended for three weeks following an independent disciplinary hearing today, arising from the province’s Champions Cup round 4 match against Exeter Chiefs at the Aviva Stadium.
Cian Healy, who was shown a yellow card following the incident by referee Pascal Gauzère, was cited by the match citing commissioner Patrice Frantschi (France) for charging into a ruck in the 17th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (h).
Law 10.4 (h) Charging into a ruck or maul;
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (h) carries the following sanction entry points – low end: 2 weeks; mid-range: 6 weeks; top end: 10 to 52 weeks.
An independent disciplinary committee consisting of Gareth Graham (England), Chairman, Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and Leon Lloyd (England) heard evidence and submissions by video conference from Healy, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the player’s legal representative, Derek Hegarty, from Leinster’s head of rugby operations, Guy Easterby, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan.
The committee upheld the citing complaint as it determined that Healy’s act of foul play warranted a red card. It found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and two weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
The committee then added one week due to the player’s recent poor disciplinary record and despite Healy’s guilty plea, it was decided that there were insufficient mitigating factors present to warrant any reduction of the sanction.
A three-week suspension was therefore imposed and the Ireland front rower is free to play from Monday, January 8, meaning he is banned for Leinster’s festive derbies against Munster (December 26), Connacht (January 1) and Ulster (January 6). Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.