Leinster’s James Lowe banned for two games over red card

Winger will miss Pro 14 derby with Ulster and visit of Toulouse in Champions Cup

Leinster’s James Lowe collides with Munster’s Andrew Conway during the Guinness Pro 14 derby at Thomond Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster’s James Lowe collides with Munster’s Andrew Conway during the Guinness Pro 14 derby at Thomond Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Leinster winger James Lowe has been suspended for two weeks following the red card he received against Munster in Thomond Park on December 29th.

In one way it’s a problem solved for Leinster coach Leo Cullen as Lowe will miss Saturday’s Pro 14 tie against Ulster at the RDS and the crucial Champions Cup visit of Toulouse the following weekend.

Lowe opted not to appeal so Cullen is free to select Scott Fardy and Jamison Gibson-Park in both games.

Due to employment rules, only two Australians or New Zealanders can be named in a European club squad. Wallaby flanker Fardy was left off the panel for December’s back-to-back games against Bath while Lowe missed out on last season’s Champions Cup final victory over Racing 92 in Bilbao.

Immediately following the collision with Andrew Conway, referee Frank Murphy sought to show the 26-year-old a yellow card but having viewed the replay he felt the only option, under Law 9.17 – “A player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground”, was to send him off in the 32nd minute of a tempestuous affair that Munster won 26-17.

Lowe, who qualifies for Ireland under residency in 2020 (Gibson-Park is available this summer), accepted he had committed an “act of foul play” when taking Conway out in mid air and because the Munster winger landed on his neck the incident merited a red card.

An all-Welsh disciplinary committee, comprising of Roger Morris (chairman), Ray Wilton and Rhian Williams, concluded that the clash warranted “a low-end entry point of four weeks, which was reduced by 50 per cent due to the player’s clean disciplinary record and the conduct of the player and his club throughout the process”.

Therefore, Lowe will be available for Leinster’s round six trip to Wasps on Sunday, January 20th.

Leinster do look well stocked in the back three as Rob Kearney and Barry Daly return from injury, while in the pack Jack McGrath has recovered from a hip issue.

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