Jared Payne handed two-week suspension

Leinster flanker Conor Gilsenan to join London Irish at the end of the season

 Ulster’s Director of Rugby David Humphreys, team manager David Millar and Jared Payne walking to the ERC offices. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ulster’s Director of Rugby David Humphreys, team manager David Millar and Jared Payne walking to the ERC offices. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Ulster fullback, Jared Payne has been suspended for two weeks following an independent disciplinary hearing in Dublin today arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill last Saturday.

Payne was shown a red card by referee, Jerome Garces (France), in the fifth minute of the match for an alleged dangerous charge on the Saracens fullback, Alex Goode, in contravention of Law 10.4(i) Tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling an opponent jumping for the ball in open play.

Under the IRB Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4(i) carries the following sanction entry points: Low End: 3 weeks; Mid-Range: 6 weeks; Top End: 12 to 52 weeks.

The independent Judicial Officer, Simon Thomas (Wales), heard evidence and submissions from Payne, Ulster’s Director of Rugby, David Humphreys, and team manager, David Millar, as well as from ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O’Connor.

In upholding the red card decision, the Judicial Officer determined that Payne had committed a reckless act and concluded that the offence was at the low end of the IRB sanctions for offences of this nature and selected three weeks as the appropriate entry point.

As there were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player’s clean disciplinary record and his exemplary conduct at the hearing, the judicial officer reduced the sanction by the maximum of one week and imposed a suspension of two weeks. Payne is free to play on Monday, 21 April, 21st.

Meanwhile Conor Gilsenan has agreed to join London Irish from Leinster. The 21 year old former Clongowes schoolboy and underage international, is currently on loan with Connacht but will move to London in the summer.

Exiles Direct of Rugby Brian Smith enthused: “ Conor is a back rower who plays with enormous intensity.”

Gilsenan admitted: “I’m excited at the challenge of moving across to London Irish to play in the Premiership. It’s a competitive league with some great players and I feel it is the right time to make the move. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leinster and would like to thank everyone for what they have done for me during my time with the club.”

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