Ireland appeal Flannery ban
February 24, 2010
Flannery was guilty of an ill-timed lunge at French winger Alexis Palisson during their recent clash in Paris © Getty Images
Ireland have chosen to appeal the six-week suspension given to hooker Jerry Flannery for his dangerous lunge on France winger Alexis Palisson.
The Irish camp are hoping to have the length of the ban reduced by an independent Six Nations appeals committee, which will be convened next week. A cross appeal has been lodged by the Six Nations disciplinary officer, enabling the committee to increase the length of Flannery's suspension if deemed appropriate. Flannery pleaded guilty at the original hearing held in Dublin last Wednesday.
The Munster hooker admitted he had deserved a red card for scything down Palisson in the 33-10 defeat in Paris on February 13, with the France back subsequently limping out of the game with a dead leg. The disciplinary panel found Flannery had been reckless but not deliberate in his actions and decided the offence was mid-range in its severity.
Flannery's plea and the remorse he showed for Palisson's injury persuaded the panel to rein the suspension back from a potential eight weeks. However, it still ended his Six Nations and Ireland believe it should be reduced given the act was, in the words of head coach Declan Kidney, "awkward rather than deliberate".
Rory Best of Ulster has taken over the hooking duties for Ireland in Flannery's absence, and will start Saturday's meeting with England at Twickenham.