Tuesday 6 December 2016

Cian Healy braced for verdict as disciplinary process rumbles on

Published 31/12/2015 | 02:30

Healy was cited earlier this month for allegedly striking Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado with his knee. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
Healy was cited earlier this month for allegedly striking Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado with his knee. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE

The disciplinary saga surrounding the fate of Leinster and Ireland prop Cian Healy is destined to take yet another twist in London today - and there is a good chance that the wrangle will run into 2016 should the Irish side emerge unhappy with the verdict.

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Healy was cited earlier this month for allegedly striking Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado with his knee in the 26th minute of the Stade Félix Mayol defeat in contravention of Law 10.4a, a charge that can carry a punishment of between three weeks and a year.

Despite having that initial charge of striking thrown out in a subsequent hearing, Healy was then banned for two weeks under a different law (10.4f), which Leinster argued was not due process, as they didn't have the chance to defend the new charge.

Leinster then won the right to appeal and an eleventh-hour reprieve saw the two-week suspension lifted, allowing Healy to play in the return leg against Toulon, with the appeal heard last Friday.

Leinster won that appeal but were stunned to hear that the disciplinary chiefs decided that they would revert to their attempt to charge the Irish international with 'striking' - the very charge which they already confirmed could "not be proven".

And yesterday, it was confirmed by competition organisers European Professional Club Rugby that the re-hearing would take place today in London under the jurisdiction of a different judicial officer.

"The decision that the complaint should be reheard by a different Judicial Officer from the original Disciplinary Hearing was made by an independent Appeal Committee on Wednesday, 23 December.

"Jeremy Summers (England) has been appointed as the independent Judicial Officer for the new hearing," said an EPCR statement on behalf of the independent disciplinary committee.

Irish Independent

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