Six Nations: Brian O'Driscoll awaits a decision over stamp on Simone Favaro
Brian O'Driscoll will learn tomorrow whether he will face disciplinary proceedings for his stamp on Simone Favaro in Ireland's 22-15 defeat by Italy in Rome.
Citing commissioner Aurwel Morgan, of the Welsh Rugby Union, has until 2.30pm to decide if the offence, which saw O'Driscoll sent to the sin-bin on the half hour, warrants further action. O'Driscoll lifted his right leg and brought it down on to the chest of Favaro, the Italy openside, who yelled out in pain.
The incident clouded what was almost certainly the 34-year-old O'Driscoll's final game for Ireland, leading to speculation that if he had decided to retire after the summer, he may now delay those plans.
Although O'Driscoll has publicly stated his future is undecided, it is widely thought that the attrition rate of recent matches – against France alone he was concussed and sustained a lacerated ear and dead leg – would convince him to step down after the Lions tour.
Declan Kidney, Ireland's coach, said: "He's earned the space and time to be able to make up his own mind. Players are the only ones who know when the time is right to go."
Kidney's own future is in doubt after Ireland's worst championship since 1999, finishing second from bottom, above France, on points difference. For the first time Kidney has hinted a stewardship that peaked with the 2009 Grand Slam might be over. "I said all along that I'd concentrate on each game as it came," he said. "I wasn't thinking it could be my last match as coach; all I was concentrating on was getting the win.
"I wanted to get a result, we didn't manage to do that and we'll reflect on it over the coming days and weeks. I'd have to sit down and think about whether I want a new contract."
Italy A Masi (T Benvenuti, 65); G Venditti, G Canale, G Garcia, L McLean; L Orquera, E Gori (T Botes, 75); Lo Cicero (M Rizzo, 64), L Ghiraldini (D Giazzon, 75), L Cittadini (A De Marchi, 75), Q Geldenhuys (A Pavanello, 64), J Furno (F Minto, 57), A Zanni, S Favaro (P Derbyshire, 57), S Parisse (capt).
Ireland R Kearney; C Gilroy, B O'Driscoll, L Marshall (I Madigan, 28), K Earls (L Fitzgerald, 25); I Henderson, 37); P Jackson, C Murray; C Healy (D Kilcoyne, 69), R Best (S Cronin, 69), M Ross (S Archer, 65); M McCarthy (D Toner, 63), D Ryan (P Marshall, 79); P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, J Heaslip (capt). Referee Wayne Barnes (England).
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