Saturday 16 December 2017

Healy's Six Nations hangs in balance as prop faces citing charge in London

Conor George

Conor George

CIAN HEALY is facing the possibility of being banned for the remainder of Ireland's Six Nations championship.

The loosehead prop has been cited arising from an alleged incident of foul play and will stand before a disciplinary committee in London tomorrow afternoon.

The alleged act is contrary to Law 10.4 (b) and if found guilty Healy will face anything from a two- to a 52-week suspension. If adjudged guilty, there are three levels of scale when applying a suspension. These go from two-to-five to nine-plus weeks.

Whatever the final recommendation by Professor Lorne Crerar, the chairman of the Six Nations disciplinary panel who will sit in judgement, it is likely Healy will face some level of sanction and will not be available for the game against Scotland on February 24.

That will mean a first senior start for Dave Kilcoyne at loosehead with Ulster's Tom Court likely to provide cover on the bench for what will be his first involvement since the loss to England in last year's competition.

Healy (above) will be hoping that his previous good record will stand him in good stead because the video evidence of his stamp on England's Dan Cole 16 minutes into Sunday's game is rather damning.

What is especially frustrating is that there was no need for him to get involved.

Cole's leg was slightly elevated out of a ruck and while it was a minor nuisance to Conor Murray as he sought to get his hands on the ball, it was no more than a minor irritant to the scrum-half and was not unduly interfering with the play.

It was an obvious rush of blood to the head by the Ireland prop as it came after a promising Ireland maul had broken down.

England were penalised for not rolling away. However, Ireland were fortunate that the penalty wasn't reversed following Healy's intervention.

Healy will be accompanied to the London hearing tomorrow by Ireland team manager Mick Kearney.

Irish Independent

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