Leinster set to use suspended Healy
February 14, 2013
Cian Healy's ban begins on Sunday night © Getty Images
Healy was suspended by an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee convened at Heathrow for an incident involving England's Dan Cole in the first half of Saturday's 12-6 defeat in Dublin. Under normal circumstances Healy would not have played this weekend, but the hearing chose to defer the ban by one week so that he would miss Ireland's Six Nations matches against Scotland and France.
As it currently stands the suspension runs from midnight on Sunday until March 10, leaving him available against Treviso. Leinster forwards coach Jonno Gibbes today indicated that the European champions intend to select the 25-year-old loosehead.
"Cian is certainly available. (Leinster coach) Jose Schmidt and (Ireland coach) Declan Kidney have talked about the involvement of Test players this weekend," Gibbes said. "Cian's available and personally I'd be delighted to involve him, he's a really big asset. He will definitely be considered.
"There's are complications for others maybe, but he's available for us. It's a game in the break of the Six Nations and he's under consideration. Nothing is surprising when the rugby judiciary is involved. You have to go in with an open mind because you never know what will come out of it."
The development has created a mess for the Six Nations, who are understood to be concerned at the prospect of having the spirit of their ban flouted by the exploitation of a loophole in their decision to defer the punishment. Ireland have yet to indicate whether they will appeal against the suspension, but Healy risks receiving a lengthier suspension if it fails.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'