Confusion over Ireland prop Healy's ban

Confusion over Ireland prop Healy's ban

Ireland and Cian Healy's club side Leinster have been left baffled about whether or not the prop is allowed to be selected for provincial duty at the weekend, following his ban for stamping.

A disciplinary committee handed down a three-week ban for Healy's stamp on England's Dan Cole when the two sides met in the Six Nations in Dublin.

And, given that under normal circumstances the 25-year-old would have been rested this weekend, the hearing decided to defer his punishment for one week - to make him miss Ireland's games against Scotland and France.

But Leinster believe that means Healy can play for them when they face Benetton Treviso in Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 clash.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has been told that's not the case.

We asked the question yesterday whether he could play this weekend and we were told no, he is suspended.

Declan Kidney

Six Nations organisers have declined to publicly clarify the terms of the suspension, but maintain it commenced with Monday's citing.

"Experience has taught us to wait for the written judgment or explanation to come down and we'll take it from there concerning any appeal," Kidney said on Thursday.

"Cian's had a lot going on - a lot goes on with the citings process the way it is. There would certainly be benefit in him playing (for Leinster) given everything that's happened."

But Leinster have a very different view of the situation.

"Cian is certainly available," the team's forwards coach Jonno Gibbes said.

"(Leinster coach) Jose Schmidt and (Ireland coach) Declan have talked about the involvement of Test players this weekend. Cian's available and personally I'd be delighted to involve him.

"He's a really big asset - he will definitely be considered."

There are complications for others maybe, but he's available for us. It's a game in the break of the Six Nations and he's under consideration.

Jonno Gibbes

Meanwhile, Ireland also have injury woes to contend with - both fly-half Jonathan Sexton and second row Mike McCarthy are set to miss the trip to Edinburgh on 24 February.

Sexton could be out for four to six weeks with a grade two hamstring tear, making him also a doubt for the game against France in the penultimate round of fixtures.

McCarthy looks likely to be in a brace for two weeks, having damaged the medial ligament of his right knee.

But the other injuries picked up during the brutal England game - by Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney, Sean O'Brien and Donnacha Ryan - are improving and they should all return to full fitness in time to face Scotland.


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