Sunday 18 March 2018

McCarthy free to travel after citing dropped

CONNACHT'S Mike McCarthy is available for Ireland's tour of New Zealand having been cleared of any wrong-doing in the Pro12 clash with Glasgow on May 5.

McCarthy was cited for allegedly making contact with the eye area of Warriors forward Tom Ryder but after hearing evidence from both players yesterday, the Pro12 disciplinary committee deemed that the second-row had no case to answer.

The committee applied a test from previous cases as to the meaning of 'eye area' and decided that it did not include the area of Ryder's face that McCarthy made contact with.

It means that he is now likely to be included in today's Ireland squad for the clash with the Barbarians in Gloucester on May 29 and is available for selection in the full Ireland squad for next month's tour of New Zealand, which will be named next Monday.

Cheika to end Stade tenure

FORMER Leinster coach Michael Cheika will not be coaching French giants Stade Français next season, adding to speculation of a possible return to Australia to take up a position with Super Rugby franchise Western Force.

After guiding Leinster to their first Heineken Cup in 2009 in the last of his five seasons with the province, the Australian took over as Stade director of rugby in 2010, but it was reported yesterday that Cheika will not be offered an extension of his two-year contract.

It has not yet been determined if he will stay on in another capacity, however.

The Paris club finished seventh in this season's Top 14, missing out on a play-off spot for the third successive season and failing to qualify for the Heineken Cup.

The decision follows French reports of tension between Cheika and a number of players as well as assistant coach Christophe Laussucq, who formerly coached Brive.

In recent weeks, Cheika has been installed as favourite to take over as head coach of the Western Force following the departure of Richard Graham.

Irish Independent

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