Jennings' ban for gouging upheld

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The Independent Online

The Ireland flanker Shane Jennings yesterday lost his appeal against a 12-week suspension for gouging. Jennings was handed the suspension for "making contact with the eye area" of Nick Kennedy in Leinster's 12-9 Heineken Cup defeat to London Irish earlier this month

An independent committee in Dublin dismissed the appeal yesterday after finding that Jennings had not demonstrated the original decision had been made in error or that it should be overturned or varied. He will resume playing in January, ruling him out of Ireland's autumn internationals against Australia, Fiji and South Africa.

Leinster were dismayed when the original verdict – which imposed the entry point sanction for a low-end offence – was delivered last week because of the lack of video evidence. It was also thought his chances of having the suspension overturned or reduced would have improved with Kennedy's subsequent admission that he over-reacted to the first-half incident. But Jennings, who has five caps, appears to have suffered from the International Rugby Board's recent crackdown on the offence.

Meanwhile, the Northampton lock Juandre Kruger was yesterday handed a three-week ban for stamping during Saints' 29-13 defeat by Perpignan last Friday.

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