Flannery could face Six Nations ban

Jerry Flannery's participation in the RBS 6 Nations is under serious threat after the Ireland hooker was today cited for his dangerous lunge on France winger Alexis Palisson.

Flannery has been charged with an "alleged kick", an offence that carries a sanction range of between four and 12 weeks but can also result in a maximum one-year ban.



The independent three-man disciplinary committee is set to be convened on Wednesday and is sure to take a dim view of an incident which occurred in the 23rd minute of Ireland's 33-10 defeat in Paris.



Flannery scythed down Palisson with a powerful kick after the Montauban back had picked up the ball and was lucky to concede only a penalty.



Referee Wayne Barnes consulted his touch judge Stuart Terheege, who believed the challenge to be a "shoulder charge", and Flannery escaped a potential red card.



But replays have exposed the severity of an incident that could have caused serious injury to Palisson, who was subsequently forced from the pitch with a dead leg.



It meant a penalty that had been awarded to Ireland was reversed and it came at a bad time with prop Cian Healy already in the sin-bin - a 10-minute spell that saw France score 10 points.



Should Flannery be suspended, Rory Best will take over the hooking duties where required for the remaining fixtures against England, Wales and Scotland.



It will continue a remarkable comeback for the Ulster hooker who only recently completed his rehabilitation from neck surgery. Losing Flannery will be a bitter blow to Ireland as they seek to pick up the pieces of their shattered Grand Slam defence.



The tournament resumes against England on February 27 with head coach Declan Kidney needing to restore morale following Saturday's fearful battering by an outstanding France.



The severity of the defeat has sparked a debate on whether Ireland's Grand Slam side, who were flattered by the 3-1 try count, have reached the end of a cycle.



Skipper Brian O'Driscoll dismissed the suggestion, but Ireland's chances of nudging their Six Nations back on track will not be improved by a ban for Flannery, while star full-back Rob Kearney is rated doubtful because of a knee injury.



Further muddying the waters are calls to drop John Hayes, Ireland's long-serving tighthead prop who will win his 100th cap if selected against England.



But flanker Stephen Ferris has reacted to the general uncertainty whipped up by events in Paris by claiming the Irish remain firmly in the title hunt.



"Everyone is feeling frustrated and we want to go and put it right at Twickenham in two weeks' time," he said.



"The past 12-18 months have been fantastic. We've ground out some good wins but fair play to France, they deserved it.



"We need to be more clinical against England. The race for the title is not over yet. You don't become a bad team overnight.



"If we can cut out the silly mistakes there's no reason why we can't win at Twickenham."



News
newsVideo targets undecided voters
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
News
Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, dropped out of Stanford University just before graduation to develop his app
techAnd yes, it is quite a lot
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis