Laporte calls for 'citings' rethink

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The Independent Online

The French rugby manager, Bernard Laporte, wants a change in the game's citing procedures after losing his influential back-row player, Olivier Magne, for today's Six Nations match against Ireland.

Magne, widely regarded as one of the best open-side flankers in the world, is serving a suspension after being cited when he appeared to head-butt Scotland's Stuart Reid at Murrayfield a fortnight ago.

"The whole thing is very strange," Laporte said. "We will be without one of our most influential players because an Irish commissioner has decided to ban him for the match against Ireland. The decision is not just disappointing it also smacks me as being very insincere. We urgently need to review the system."

Magne was cited by John West, the match commissioner, who is a former international referee from Ireland. His ban was then handed out by a three-man disciplinary panel sitting in Dublin. "It was being heard by Irishmen in Ireland a week before we play Ireland," Magne complained.

The player, who scored two tries in the 28-16 win over Scotland, claimed he had accidentally butted Reid after the Scottish flanker had pulled off his scrum cap.

The suspension ends on 25 March so the 26-year-old, who plays for Montferrand, will be available for France's final championship match at home to Italy on 1 April.

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