Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Leinster rule out McGrath appeal

Jack McGrath will be free to start Ireland's RBS 6 Nations campaign after Leinster chose not to appeal against his three-week ban for stamping.

McGrath will miss Leinster's crucial European Champions Cup Pool Two matches in the next fortnight, but will then return in time for Ireland's Six Nations opener in Italy.

The 25-year-old should retain his starting berth for Ireland's first Six Nations clash in Rome on February 7, with Cian Healy still battling back from long-term injury.

Leinster said in a statement: "After considering all the options and taking considerable advice, including legal, Leinster Rugby have confirmed that they will not be appealing the decision by the Guinness Pro12 disciplinary committee to suspend Jack McGrath for three weeks, effectively ruling him out of the two Champions Cup Pool Two games this weekend and next.

"The matter is now at an end and Leinster Rugby will be making no further comment."

McGrath was banned for three weeks for stamping in Leinster's 24-11 Pro12 victory over Ulster on January 3.

Leinster could have jeopardised McGrath's early Six Nations participation with an appeal: had the case been thrown out, the 12-cap prop's ban could have been increased.

Any extension of the existing sanction could have left McGrath unavailable for the start of the Six Nations as Ireland aim to defend their 2014 crown.

Leinster sit second in Pool Two of the Champions Cup with two fixtures left to play.

The Dublin province host Castres this weekend before facing Wasps in Coventry in round six.

Harlequins top the group, and Leinster will feel McGrath's absence, especially with fellow loosehead Healy still fighting his way back to fitness.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph