Herring off the hook to boost Ulster hopes
Ulster hooker Rob Herring has been cleared to feature in tomorrow night's Guinness Pro12 semi-final at Glasgow Warriors after being cleared of a stamping offence.
Herring appeared before an independent Pro12 Rugby Disciplinary Committee, having been cited by an independent Citing Commissioner for allegedly stamping on an opponent's head in the defeat to the Glasgow side last weekend.
The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Roger Morris, along with Nicholas D Jones and Ray Wilton (all from Wales), having viewed the footage of the incident, reviewed the other evidence and listened to representations by and on behalf of Herring, did not uphold the citing complaint.
They concluded that the player had been held in a ruck by two opponents after the ball had left the ruck, that his actions were the result of him trying to release himself from their grip and that he had not committed an act of foul play. They imposed no sanction on the player, who is free to resume playing immediately.
Elsewhere, England have named wings Chris Ashton and David Strettle in a 50-man World Cup training squad that also includes rugby league convert Sam Burgess.
Christian Wade, however, is absent from the 50 who will gather at Pennyhill Park on June 22 to begin preparations for the home World Cup, which opens against Fiji at Twickenham on September 18.
As expected, there is no place for Steffon Armitage or Nick Abendanon with head coach Stuart Lancaster refusing to activate the 'exceptional circumstances' contingency that would enable him to select overseas-based players.