Saturday 24 March 2018

Disappointed Ireland unlikely to appeal Stander ban

Ruaidhri O'Connor in Johannesburg

IRELAND are highly unlikely to appeal the decision to suspend CJ Stander for Saturday’s second Test against South Africa because SANZAR, the governing body in the southern hemisphere, have yet to issue them with disciplinary officer Terry Willis’s written decision.

Joe Schmidt’s squad stepped up their preparations for the Ellis Park clash at training this morning and are planning without their banned flanker.

Rhys Ruddock is the likely replacement for the South African-born Munster captain who was shown a red card in Saturday’s first Test after a dangerous collision and has been suspended for one week. Ireland could also switch Iain Henderson to blindside flanker and bring Donnacha Ryan into the second-row.

Ireland have 48 hours to appeal the decision, but have been left in limbo because they have not received the full explanation for the Australian’s decision after he held an 11 hour hearing on the incident that left Springbok out-half Pat Lambie concussed and out of this weekend’s game.

Read more: South African media turn on Munster's potential saviour after Ireland upset the Springboks

Skills and kicking coach Richie Murphy said the management team have been left dissatisfied with the events.

“Unfortunately we can’t make that decision (on whether to appeal) yet because we haven’t received the notification, the report at the moment,” Murphy said.

“We’re in a situation where we’re halfway through the training week already. CJ obviously hasn’t been training with the team so it’s probably a situation where it’s probably a little bit too late already.

“We’re disappointed in the verdict. It’s one of those things where a player’s got injured on the pitch and we’re disappointed for that as well, that was never the intention from CJ.

Read more: Stander gets one-week ban as Springboks coach slams Ireland 

“I suppose the process that he’s gone through over the last three days has just taken forever. It’s been very slow. So, that’s something that’s probably gone against CJ at this stage.

“CJ will be missed but with that it gives opportunities to other guys like Rhys Ruddock who has had a really good season this year. We’ve got Rhys there who can step into this shoes, if needed.”

Stander aside, Ireland have no injury worries ahead of the second Test.

"Everybody came through training good, with no injuries. Everyone trained today. A reasonably high intensity session and everyone came out feeling good," Murphy added.

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