Flannery's appeal against suspension rejected
AS the Ireland squad reconvened at Carton House yesterday ahead of the clash with Wales at Croke Park on Saturday week, it was confirmed that Declan Kidney would be without the services of hooker Jerry Flannery for the remainder of the tournament after the Munster man's appeal against a six-week ban failed.
Flannery had pleaded guilty to kicking France winger Alexis Palisson during the 33-10 defeat in Paris but, after expressing remorse for the offence, the Irish camp felt the sentence was excessive.
However, an independent Six Nations appeal committee upheld the original ban and agreed that the act was in the mid-range for the offence and that "the level of net mitigation applied was within the correct margin of appreciation".
A counter-appeal by the Six Nations disciplinary officer which could have seen his ban increased was also dismissed, meaning that Flannery will be available for Munster's Magners League clash with Leinster on April 2 and their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Northampton on April 10.
Captain Brian O'Driscoll showed no ill effects from the blow to the head he picked up in Twickenham and took full part in yesterday's training session. Jamie Heaslip was the only Irish player to sit out training due to an ankle sprain but he is not an injury concern.