O’Driscoll citing to be heard in London
Kidney to travel as the Irish talisman faces disciplinary action for foul play against Italy
Brian O’Driscoll’s disciplinary hearing into an alleged stamping offence will take place in London this morning.
Brian O’Driscoll will have his citing charge heard in London today by an RBS Six Nations Disciplinary panel. The 34-year-old centre was summoned to the hearing after he was sent to the sin bin on the half-hour mark for an alleged stamp on Simone Favaro in Ireland’s final Six Nations match against Italy on Saturday.
The RBS, according to normal procedures, would not disclose the location of the London hotel where the hearing will take place at mid-morning.
The 125-capped former Irish captain, who has never been cited before during an international career that has spanned over a decade, will be accompanied by solicitor Donal Spring, Irish team manager Mick Kearney and coach Declan Kidney.
Former Irish lock and number eight Spring was recently successful in Cian Healy’s defence of an interpretation of a suspension, which allowed the Irish loosehead prop to play against France. The original suspension would have kept the Leinster player out of the match at the Aviva Stadium.
O’Driscoll was seen to bring his right leg down on the Italian openside flanker, who was lying on the wrong side of a ruck. He was subsequently reported by independent citing commissioner Aurwel Morgan over the incident.
The chair of the independent Six Nations Disciplinary Committee will be Robert Williams (Wales ), Mike Hamlin and John Doubleday (both England). O’Driscoll was cited for an alleged stamping or trampling on an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (b).
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.
Leinster’s hopes are that their talisman will be available for their Amlin Challenge match against Wasps on April 5th.
Meanwhile, the IRFU are not expected to make an announcement today on the future of Ireland coach Kidney or any of his backroom staff, who are under contract up to and including this Americas summer’s tour. The speculation is Kidney will not take the team on the tour.
Takes several weeks
The normal process for National Team Review Group (NTRG) meetings, which normally take place following the November International Series and Six Nations Championships, is that ittakes several weeks before a decision is announced.
The IRFU do not expect today’s meeting to be any different and as Kidney will be accompanying O’Driscoll to London, it will make for a busy day for the Irish coach.
Referees have been appointed for next month’s four quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup. France’s Romain Poite will be in charge of the first to be staged at Twickenham, when Saracens clash with last season’s defeated finalists, Ulster on Saturday, April 6th, while the Anglo-Irish meeting of the pool-stage top seeds, Harlequins and Munster at the Stoop the following day, will be refereed by Jérôme Garces.
Ireland’s George Clancy will officiate the Toulon-Leicester game at Stade Félix Mayol on Sunday, April 7th, while England’s Wayne Barnes will whistle at the Clermont-Montpellier clash. They have been asked to look closely at the tackle and ruck areas particularly.