Healy cleared to face France
February 28, 2013
Ireland's Cian Healy was handed a two-week ban for stamping on England's Dan Cole during their Six Nations clash in Dublin earlier this month © PA Photos
Ireland prop Cian Healy will be available for his side's Six Nations clash with France next month after winning an appeal against the timing of his recent ban.
Healy was suspended for three weeks for stamping on England's Dan Cole during their meeting in Dublin earlier on February 10 but disciplinary chiefs extended the period of suspension to four weeks due a to the fact that a rest week in the Championship would mean he missed only one match. As a result he was poised to sit out both their defeat to Scotland last weekend and the date with France on March 9.
However, Healy argued his ban should have started on the date of the incident with his representatives also stressing their belief that Ireland's player welfare system - that would have dictated that the player was not available for Leinster's PRO12 clash on the Six Nations rest week -was being unfairly punished by the first decision.
Six Nations tournament officials have confirmed he has won his case and as a result his suspension will expire at midnight on March 3. A statement read: "The player had argued, among other things, that by extending the three-week suspension over four weekends (to take account of the first break weekend in the RBS 6 Nations Championship) was not permissible under the relevant regulations."
Tom Court started at loose-head against the Scots in Healy's absence with Dave Kilcoyne used as a replacement in the second half. Healy, a leading candidate to tour with the British & Irish Lions later this year, is expected to reclaim his starting spot for the France game with Kilcoyne making way.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton