Fergus McFadden’s season has ended with a six week ban following a disciplinary hearing on Thursday via a video conference.
To ensure the six-week ban accounts for meaningful matches played by Leinster and Ireland, the international winger will not be free to play until midnight on Sunday, August 25th, 2019.
It means McFadden will miss out on Leinster's European Champions Cup final against Saracens and their Pro 14 semi-final as well as any involvement he might have enjoyed in the first part of Ireland's build up towards the World Cup in Japan beginning in September.
Ireland play warm up matches against Italy on August 10th and England in Twickenham on August 24th. If selected by Joe Schmidt McFadden would be available to play in Ireland's match against Wales in Cardiff on August 31st and again against Wales in Dublin on September 7th.
It is a devastating blow to the player, who was cited following Leinster's match against Ulster on April 27th. Reported by the Citing Commissioner McFadden was charged with the alleged infringement of Law 9.12 – a player must not physically abuse anyone.
The Disciplinary Panel comprising Roddy MacLeod, Frank Hadden and Beth Dickens (all Scotland), concluded that during the game McFadden had committed an act of foul play involving contact to the head.
In upholding the Citing Complaint, the Disciplinary Committee deemed that the offence merited a red card under Law 9.12 (Striking with head) and that the contact to the head was intentional with a mid-range entry point of 10 weeks.
However, the Committee took into account the Player’s previous disciplinary record and his good conduct acceptance of culpability, his remorse and his engagement with the instant disciplinary process (including at the hearing). It subsequently applied mitigation which reduced the ban to six weeks.
McFadden has the right to appeal the suspension.