Flannery handed six-week ban
February 17, 2010
Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery has been banned for six weeks © Getty Images
Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery has been banned for six weeks for kicking France wing Alexis Palisson in their Six Nations defeat in Paris last weekend, ruling him out of the remainder of the tournament.
Flannery, who pleaded guilty to the offence and admitted that it deserved a red card, will miss games against England, Scotland and Wales before his ban expires on March 29.
An independent disciplinary panel found Flannery's offence to be reckless rather than deliberate and imposed a mid-range sanction. The Munster hooker had escaped further punishment on the field as assistant referee Stuart Terheege had informed referee Wayne Barnes that it had been a shoulder charge, requiring only a penalty as punishment.
In reality it was a swinging leg that could have caused serious injury to the France winger. Palisson limped off in the 25th minute with a dead leg as Ireland slipped behind, with prop Cian Healy sin-binned for a professional foul.
France comfortably won the game 33-10, leaving Ireland an uphill struggle to turn their Championship around ahead of a trip to Twickenham to face England on February 27. One silver lining for Flannery is that he will be available for a Magners League game against Leinster before Munster's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Northampton on April 10.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September