O'Connell striking appeal dismissed
December 23, 2010
Paul O'Connell has lost his appeal against a striking ban © Getty Images
Munster lock Paul O'Connell has failed in his bid to get a four-week ban for striking Ospreys No.8 Jonathan Thomas overturned by a European Rugby Cup (ERC) appeals panel.
The Ireland international was sent off after 69 minutes of Munster's Thomond Park victory over their Welsh rivals 11 days ago, having been introduced from the replacements' bench after a long layoff with a groin injury.
He subsequently received a four-week suspension, with Judge Jeff Blackett ruling that O'Connell's act had been deliberate but with no intention to injure.
The former British & Irish Lions skipper appealed against both the four-week sanction and the finding of foul play but a three-man appeals panel chaired by Professor Lorne Crerar (Scotland) determined that O'Connell had not demonstrated the original decision had been in error or that it should be overturned or varied, and therefore dismissed the appeal.
He is now free to play again on January 10, meaning that he will miss Munster's next three Magners League games but be able to face Toulon and London Irish in vital Heineken Cup ties at the end of January.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Following the passing of Jack Kyle, Huw Richards pays tribute to arguably the finest player Ireland has produced
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance