Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Ireland's Healy cited

Cian Healy will appear before an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee

Ireland prop Cian Healy has been cited for an apparent stamp on Dan Cole during Sunday's 12-6 RBS 6 Nations defeat by England at the Aviva Stadium.

Healy struck Cole's ankle while the Leicester tighthead lay prone once an Ireland maul had collapsed, in an incident that received widespread condemnation.

The 25-year-old will appear before an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee in London on Wednesday. The recommended suspension for a low end stamping offence is two weeks, the mid range five weeks and top end nine weeks, up to a maximum of one year.

England took exception to the incident and a large brawl erupted, although referee Jerome Garces failed to spot what ignited the flare-up and Healy evaded punishment on the pitch.

It is hard to envisage Healy, a leading contender for selection by the Lions in Australia this summer, escaping censure on Wednesday given that television replays clearly show the stamp.

A two-week ban would rule him out of Ireland's next Six Nations assignment against Scotland on February 24, while a more extensive suspension would also threaten his involvement against France and Italy.

Coach Declan Kidney can ill-afford to lose a player of Healy's calibre, especially while he contends with an ever-lengthening injury list.

An update released on Monday afternoon revealed that Jonathan Sexton has strained rather than torn his hamstring, but his participation at Murrayfield is still uncertain.

Mike McCarthy's knee is to be examined by a specialist, as is Brian O'Driscoll's ankle and Donnacha Ryan's back. Neither O'Driscoll nor Ryan have been ruled out against Scotland, but McCarthy could be sidelined.

Stemming the flow of bad news is that full-back Rob Kearney and openside Sean O'Brien are expected to travel to Edinburgh after suffering a dead leg and tight hamstring respectively against England.

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