Ireland flanker Peter O’Mahony appeared before an independent disciplinary committee – comprised of Mike Hamlin (England), Frank Hadden (Scotland) and Val Toma (Romania) – via video conference today.
O’Mahony received a red card in the 13th minute of Ireland’s 21-16 Guinness Six Nations defeat to Wales, for an infringement of law 9.20 (a) and (b) – dangerous play in a ruck or maul.
In assessing the seriousness of the offence, the committee found that the offence was reckless. They were satisfied that O’Mahony’s conduct breached World Rugby law 9.20 (a), in that he charged into a ruck.
Charging includes any contact made without binding onto another player in the ruck or maul. The committee noted that the offence involved reckless contact with the head of Wales prop Tomas Francis.
As the conduct involved contact with the head, although noting that no injury was suffered by Francis, the committee determined that the entry point was mid-range, which for this offence is six weeks.
It was accepted that there were no off field aggravating factors, and the committee concluded after careful consideration of O’Mahony’s record and conduct in the hearing, that he was entitled to a 50% reduction of sanction in mitigation.
The Munster captain is suspended from February 7 to March 14, 2021, which represents three meaningful matches to the player – Ireland’s upcoming Six Nations fixtures against France, Italy and Scotland.
He is free to play again on March 15, making him available for the final round encounter with England at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, March 20.