O'Driscoll cited over stamping
DUBLIN (AFP) –
Irish rugby great Brian O’Driscoll was on Monday cited for stamping on Simone Favaro in Ireland’s 22-15 Six Nations defeat by Italy, the tournament organisers announced.
The 34-year-old centre — who is widely expected to have played his last game for Ireland — was sin-binned for the incident by referee Wayne Barnes but, on further viewing, citing commissioner Aurwel Morgan decided he should face a disciplinary hearing.
“Brian O’Driscoll, the Ireland centre, has been cited by the independent citing commissioner for an alleged stamping or trampling on an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (b), in the Six Nations match between Italy and Ireland on Saturday 16th March 2013. Details of the Hearing will be announced later,” read a statement from the Six Nations organisers.
O’Driscoll’s sin-binning was only the second of his 14-year career, something which should stand in his favour when he appears before the hearing.
Nevertheless, the 125-times capped former captain — who is expected to be selected for his fourth British and Irish Lions tour later this year — was fortunate to escape just with a sin-binning as it is normally a red card offence.
The recommended suspension for a low-end stamping offence is two weeks, with the mid-range five weeks and top-end nine weeks, up to a maximum of one year.
Meanwhile; Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald has been ruled out for the rest of the season as a result of the knee injury he suffered against Italy.
Leinster’s Fitzgerald, a first-half substitute at the Stadio Olimpico, ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee only 12 minutes after replacing Keith Earls.
“Luke will now require surgery once the swelling settles down and will not return before the season ends,” a Leinster statement read.