Cian Healy will not be included in Leinster’s RaboDirect PRO12 game against Benetton Treviso tomorrow after clarification on his three-week ban was published earlier today. Healy received the suspension after he was cited for stamping of England prop Dan Cole in the 12-6 RBS Six Nations defeat last weekend.
Under normal circumstances, the Ireland front-row would have been rested for this weekend with the Six Nations taking a break in the schedule. An independent disciplinary hearing decided that the punishment for his actions should be deferred for a week to coincide with Ireland’s matches against Scotland and France so that a full two-game ban was enforced.
But coaching staff at Leinster announced yesterday that they would consider Healy for tomorrow’s game in Dublin, as they believed his ban did not officially start until midnight on Sunday, causing confusion between the Irish backroom staff and Six Nations officials.
Six Nations Rugby Limited today issued a statement laying out the terms of Healy’s ban.
“During the hearing of the citing complaint against Mr Healy, the chairman of the independent disciplinary committee, Roger Morris, of Wales, made it clear to Mr Healy and those representing him at the hearing that Mr Healy was suspended from the date on which he had been informed of the citing complaint against him (11 February 2013) until midnight on the night of Sunday, 10 March,” the statement read.
“The disciplinary committee has not yet produced its written decision, but Mr Morris has today written to Six Nations Rugby Limited and those representing Mr Healy at the hearing to confirm the position.
“Mr Morris says, in relevant part: ‘I do not think anyone present at the hearing on Wednesday was in any doubt that Mr Healy is not free to play again until after midnight on 10 March’.
“In addition, following clause 2.5.99 of the Six Nations disciplinary and anti-doping rules (which is consistent with IRB regulations 17.19.10 and 17.19.11), and in keeping with other decisions, the disciplinary committee excluded this weekend from its calculations of the three-week suspension as a result of evidence given at the hearing to the effect that Mr Healy would not have been selected to play for Leinster in this weekend’s match against Benetton Treviso.”
Healy took to twitter earlier today as the situation was confirmed, with the 25-year-old writing: “’Cheers’ to the frickin weekend!” in recognition that he will have a few more quiet weekends coming up that he would have initially anticipated.