Cian Healy free to play but appeal row rumbles into New Year
Cian Healy will be free to play in Saturday's interprovincial clash against Munster after European rugby chiefs sanctioned his right to appeal an incident during this month's defeat in Toulon - but the disciplinary farce will rumble on into the New Year.
Despite having an initial charge of striking thrown out in last week's hearing, Healy was then banned for two weeks under a different rule which Leinster argued was not due process, as they didn't have the chance to defend the new charge.
They won the right to appeal and an eleventh-hour reprieve saw the suspension lifted, allowing Healy to play in the return leg against Toulon last weekend until the appeal hearing could be heard.
That appeal was successful yesterday but it has now emerged that the European rugby chief will revert to their attempt to charge Healy with 'striking' - the very charge which they already confirmed could "not be proven".
"However, the appeal committee also decided that the original citing complaint against the player should be reheard at a later date by a different independent judicial officer from the disciplinary hearing," said a statement from the Independent Appeals Committee on behalf of EPCR.
"The appeal committee consisting of Professor Lorne Crerar, chairman, Rod McKenzie and Roddy Dunlop QC, heard submissions by video conference on behalf of Healy by Leinster legal representative, Donal Spring, and on behalf of EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan."