Blow for Kidney as Flannery banned for rest of Six Nations
Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery will miss the rest of the Six Nations after admitting yesterday that he deserved a red card for his reckless kick at winger Alexis Palisson during last weekend's Paris pummelling by the French.
The Munster hooker was slapped with a six-week ban which will rule him out of the rest of the Six Nations, but he will be free for Munster's Heineken Cup quarter-final clash with Northampton.
However, the ban could still be extended after the IRFU said they may yet appeal the decision when they receive the written judgement of the verdict next week.
The Six Nations disciplinary committee upheld the citing against him for kicking an opponent in the match between France and Ireland. The independent disciplinary committee, chaired by Roger Morris (Wales), with Mike Hamlin and John Doubleday (England), considered the evidence before them, including video of the incident and found that the offence had been reckless rather than deliberate and merited a mid-range sanction.
The committee also took account of the guilty plea by the player, who acknowledged at the outset that his action warranted a red card, together with the player's remorse for the injury caused to Alexis Palisson, the France wing.
Flannery is free to play again on Monday, March 29, the week of Munster's crunch Magners League clash against Leinster in Thomond Park.
Rory Best seems certain to deputise for Flannery when Ireland face England and yesterday's decision may force the Ireland management to instruct his withdrawal from the Ulster team which takes on Dragons in the Magners League.