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Anxious wait for Flannery

Ireland will discover today whether Jerry Flannery has been cited for his dangerous lunge on Alexis Palisson in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations defeat by France.

Flannery could be facing a lengthy ban after poleaxing Palisson in the 23rd minute with a powerful kick directed at his legs.

The Munster hooker escaped with a penalty but could have seen red for a terrible challenge that could have caused serious injury to the France winger, who limped off with a dead leg shortly after.

Citing commissioner Peter Brown, of the Scottish Rugby Union, has 48 hours to decide whether to demand the Munster hooker appears before an independent three-man Six Nations disciplinary committee.

Any citing will be confirmed by this evening with a hearing likely to be held on Tuesday or Wednesday. The incident gave Ireland head coach Declan Kidney an extra headache as he reflected on the demoralising 33-10 thrashing at the Stade de France.

The Irish saw their hopes of retaining the Grand Slam and ending their decade-long quest for victory in Paris ruined by a superb French performance. Now they must regroup for their clash with England at Twickenham knowing another defeat would see their Six Nations unravel.

"It's bound to have a psychological effect, it hits everybody," said Kidney.

"But you don't fail if you fall down, it's only if you don't pick yourselves up.

"That's what we have to do, pick ourselves up. It can always be done, but there could be easier places to do it than Twickenham."

Ireland's 12-match unbeaten run dating back to November 2008 may have been brought to a deflating conclusion, but Kidney believes they should benefit from the experience.

"We've had loads of highs over the last 12 months, this match is one of the tougher days," he said. "You're not going to win every game, you've just got to learn from it and move on.

"We had a number of guys playing their first games in France and they'll benefit from having had the experience.

"All the aspects of our game could do with improvement.

"Against France we showed what happens when the pressure comes on and, if we can learn from that, we'll become a better side."


Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll should be available to face England on Saturday week but Rob Kearney is rated doubtful for the RBS 6 Nations clash at Twickenham.

O'Driscoll incurred bruising to his left knee joint and will be monitored over the coming fortnight, but should receive the all clear to meet England.

Kearney, who limped off in the 33rd minute at the Stade de France, had a scan on his right knee this afternoon which revealed a strain to his medial ligament.

Second row Leo Cullen lasted until the second half when he twisted his right ankle but should be given the green light to feature against Martin Johnson's side.

Any fears that John Hayes may have to wait a little longer to win his 100th cap because of a blow to the head have eased after it was revealed the injury is not serious. Hayes will become the first player to make a century of Test appearances for Ireland if he is involved at Twickenham.