Six Nations: Three-week ban for Cian Healy after stamp on Dan Cole

Ireland's Cian Healy punished for incident during defeat to England

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The Independent Online

Ireland’s Cian Healy has been given a three week ban after he was found guilty of stamping on England prop Dan Cole in last Sunday’s clash with England. Replays at the time showed Healy clearly making contact with Cole’s right ankle, with other English player’s taking exception to his actions and getting involved with a number of their Irish counterparts.

The incident took place during Sunday’s game at the Aviva Stadium in the 14th minute, when Cole was guilty of collapsing an Ireland maul that was surging forwards. With referee Jerome Garces playing advantage, Healy clearly stamped on the Leicester forward’s ankle even though the ball was already available for scrum-half Conor Murray.

Although Garces didn’t see the stamp that sparked a mini-brawl between the two sets of players, Healy was cited after the game, and a disciplinary panel have clearly found it necessary to hand the Leinster forward a three-week ban.

The 25-year-old will miss Ireland’s next game when they travel to Murrayfield to face Scotland, but perhaps more importantly he will also sit-out France’s visit to Dublin on February 9. With the suspension finishing on February 10, head coach Declan Kidney will be without one of his key players until their final game against Italy.

Kidney already has concerns over the fitness of Brian O’Driscoll, Jonathon Sexton, Donnacha Ryan and Mike McCarthy, though there is some good news as Rob Kearney and Sean O’Brien are expected to be fit following knocks picked up in the 12-6 defeat to England.