Saturday 16 December 2017

McCarthy ban to expire before Gloucester games

David Kelly

David Kelly

Connacht's Mike McCarthy will be available for his side's Heineken Cup back-to-back clashes with Gloucester next month after escaping an ERC disciplinary hearing with just a two-week ban.

McCarthy was hit with the ban after his high tackle on Toulouse wing Vincent Clerc during last weekend's Heineken Cup defeat at the Sportsground.

The suspension lasts until Thursday, December 8, meaning he will miss the RaboDirect Pro 12 visits of Ospreys and Benetton Treviso to the Sportsground.

The flanker was yellow-carded for the offence which contravened Law 10.4 and pleaded guilty in front of a disciplinary hearing after being cited by commissioner Bruce Reece-Russell (England). Law 10.4 relates to a tackle above the shoulders even if it starts below them. McCarthy argued the tackle was not worthy of a red card, but the citing was upheld by judicial officer Roger Morris (Wales), who determined it was at the lower end of the scale for an offence of its type.

He added a week to the minimum two-week suspension, but repealed it after considering McCarthy's guilty plea and his disciplinary record. The Irish international is allowed an appeal, but such a course of action is extremely unlikely.

Elsewhere, Munster's David Wallace delivered an upbeat assessment of his recovery from the knee injury that ruled him out of the World Cup after a meeting with top sports surgeon Ray Moran yesterday.

"Had a very positive appointment with my surgeon Ray Moran today," Wallace reported on his Twitter account. "All going according to plan thankfully. Thanks to all who are asking."

Irish Independent

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