Thursday 22 March 2018

In brief: Wright's anxious wait on final call

LEINSTER expect to find out today whether Stan Wright will be available for the Magners League final against the Ospreys on May 29 after the prop was cited for an alleged punch on Alan Quinlan during the province's semi-final win over Munster last weekend writes Donnchadh Boyle.

If found guilty, Wright will miss the decider as the offence carries a minimum two-week suspension. Munster's Nick Williams was also cited for an alleged stamp on Jonathan Sexton by the independent citing commissioner, who was present at the game.

The IRFU panel, which meets in Ravenhill this afternoon, will consist of Chair Hugh Logan, Stephen Hilditch and Neil Jackson.

Traille ruled out of decider for Biarritz

France and Biarritz centre Damien Traille will miss Saturday's all-French Heineken Cup final against Toulouse at the Stade de France because he has not recovered from an arm injury.

"Damien had to withdraw because playing would be too risky and could sideline him for a long time," Biarritz manager Laurent Rodriguez told a press conference yesterday.

No 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, who played in the 18-7 semi-final win against Munster with a face mask to protect his broken nose and left the field on the hour because of a rib injury, should be fit to play.

"Imanol is not in pain any more. We are confident he will be able to lead our team," Rodriguez said.

Venter slapped with 14-week ban

Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter will be consigned to the stands for the Guinness Premiership final against Leicester after receiving a 14-week touchline ban.

Venter was found guilty of making provocative/inapropriate gestures during Saracens' victory at Welford Road two weekends ago.

A Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel found Venter not guilty of pushing a female spectator.

Venter received a 10-week ban for his gesture while RFU disciplinary chief Judge Jeff Blackett activated the four-week suspended penalty he was given for criticism of referees earlier in the season.

Although Venter is banned until August 24, in practice he will only miss the Grand Final, also against the Tigers, at Twickenham on May 29.

A Saracens spokesman confirmed the club had already lodged an appeal.

  • Northampton and England winger Chris Ashton has been named Guinness Premiership player of the season.

The 23-year-old scored 16 tries in 20 matches for Saints this season and won his first England cap as a result.

Ashton has enjoyed a meteoric rise since switching codes from rugby league in 2007 and has been included in England's squad for the summer tour to Australia and New Zealand.

Irish Independent

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