Thursday 23 November 2017

Munster second-row Wycherley handed three-week ban for striking

Fineen Wycherley of Munster during Munster Rugby Squad Training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Fineen Wycherley of Munster during Munster Rugby Squad Training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Munster second-row Fineen Wycherley has been handed a three-week suspension for striking Glasgow lock Tim Swinson during the Warriors 37-10 win over the Irish province last Friday.

Wycherley recklessly led with the shoulder before striking Swinson with his elbow after the Scotland international tackled John Ryan with the assistance of veteran hooker Pat MacArthur.

The academy lock was given a red card by match referee Nigel Owens, which was then followed by a three-week suspension from a PRO14 Disciplinary Panel comprising of Simon Thomas (Chair), Rhian Williams and Richard Cole (all Wales).

The panel concluded that the player was in breach of Law 10.4 (a) – punching or striking: a player must not strike an opponent with the hand, arm or fist, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s) - and was guilty of reckless rather than intentional behaviour and therefore warranted a mid-range sanction point of six weeks.

Considering the player and the club’s arguments that the action was not intentional and the player’s previous clean record, the Panel applied full mitigation of 50 per cent and reduced the ban to three weeks.

The player is available to play from Monday, October 16, 2017 and was reminded of his right to appeal.

Wycherley's second-row partner Jean Kleyn's future is less certain after the South African lock suffered a neck injury during the Glasgow loss.

The 24-year-old missed over three months of last season due to a neck problem picked up in February and he met with a specialist on Tuesday to determine the extent of the damage.

"Jean got a bang to the neck again," Munster Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus explained.

"It's not at all that serious. It might be a game or two. With Darren O'Shea and Gerbrandt Grobler out, there is a few guys injured, Dave O'Callaghan's out, the second-row there seems to be bad luck.

"It's one of those things but listen, we've got Robin Copeland who can play second-row and Sean O'Connor shouldn't be out for a long time and hopefully a guy like Jean Kleyn is next week back into the mix."

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