Munster’s Donncha O’Callaghan banned for two weeks

Lock’s kick on Stuart Olding was found to have been reckless after first citing of his career

Munster lock Donncha O'Callaghan will miss both European Champions Cup games against Clermont Auvergne after he was banned for two weeks for kicking Stuart Olding in the win over Ulster last Friday.

Having never in his 17-year career been cited, the veteran's previous good conduct was taken into account in reducing the entry-point four-week ban down to two by the independent Pro12 disciplinary committee - chaired by Professor Lorne Crerar, along with Roddy Dunlop and Iain Goodall (all Scotland) - in Glasgow.

The committee found O’Callaghan had been “reckless” but acknowledged the contact with Olding was mainly on his shoulder and chest, and that the offence was at the lower end of sanctions for foul play. He is therefore suspended for two weeks, up to and including Sunday, December 14th, when Munster will meet Clermont for the second time in eight days.

“We are obviously disappointed with today’s outcome,” said Munster team manager Niall O’Donovan. “Donncha has a long and unblemished professional rugby career spanning seventeen seasons and takes great pride in his conduct on and off the field. The committee accepted the action wasn’t intentional and decided the entry point for the offence to be at the lower-range, the four weeks reduced to two in mitigation.”


Coach Anthony Foley is waiting on Robin Copeland and Andrew Smith to "progress with their rehab before making any decision about their involvement in Saturday's game against Clermont."

Paddy Butler is also recovering from a knock to his hip sustained in Friday win, while prop Alan Cotter tore his bicep in Munster's A game against Nottingham on Saturday.

"Newcomer and centre Pat Howard, who is currently following return-to-play protocols, was nominated as an additional player to Munster's ERCC panel today taking the place of outhalf Johnny Holland who was de-registered after he tore his hamstring in Saturday's A game."