Belfast Telegraph

Ulster flanker Iain Henderson is facing a nervous wait over hearing

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's Iain Henderson faces a disciplinary hearing in Wales tomorrow after his red card against Munster on Saturday.

The 23-year-old flanker was dismissed by referee Nigel Owens for careless use of the head with seven minutes remaining of the PRO12 game, which ultimately ended in a 23-23 draw.

Owens' own report will be heard alongside written and video evidence, although Ulster coach Neil Doak has indicated that the team will appeal any suspension.

According to World Rugby law 10.4, striking with the head carries a lower-end suspension of four weeks, although the possible ban could be reduced by a fortnight in light of Henderson's past disciplinary conduct.

A two-week suspension would rule the influential blindside out of Ulster's game with Glasgow this weekend and their PRO12 semi-final on either May 22 or 23.

A ban of more than three weeks would carry into next season and could see the 17-times capped international miss some of Ireland's World Cup warm-up matches in August.

Speaking directly after the Munster contest, Doak said: "From the replay it looked as if Iain came in pretty low to clean out the ruck. We'll have to wait and see what the procedure is.

"I don't think there was any malice. It was a timing issue. The referee felt it was dangerous play but I don't think it was. If he gets banned or cited we will definitely appeal. I don't think he showed intent to clean anybody out around the head."

Irrespective of the outcome, the incident is another disciplinary headache for Ulster in a season that has brought red cards for Henderson, Stuart McCloskey and Declan Fitzpatrick, as well as citings for Roger Wilson, Luke Marshall, Alan O'Connor and Nick Williams.

Belfast Telegraph


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