Confusion reigns over Healy
The waters were then muddied further yesterday morning when Declan Kidney stated categorically that as far as the Ireland management were concerned Healy was suspended, with his suspension term having started from the date of the England game.
The Ireland coach is correct, although he played coy when pressed on the apparent discrepancy between the official length of the suspension (three weeks) and the actual time involved (four weeks).
"Cian has quite a good record so he was entitled to full mitigation when the sentence was passed," said Kidney.
"The ironic thing about a full mitigation of 50pc is that half of five is 2.5 but they don't do half weeks, then it was rounded up to three, so work that out for yourselves! Two and a half went to three and now we're at something else. The documentation we have is that the suspension started when we got the citing and that it will end on March 10, that's all we know."
If Kidney's interpretation proves correct then a three-week suspension dating from when they got the citing – taken literally – would end on Sunday March 3 or 4. This would mean he would be available for the match against France on March 9.
If, on the other hand, the Disciplinary Committee's report states the three-week suspension dates from Monday next, February 17, then he should be free to play for Leinster against Treviso.
Ireland are officially awaiting full written representation from the Six Nations before deciding their next course of action.