Healy free to play after stamp ban gets reduced

PROP Cian Healy will be available to play in Ireland’s next RBS Six Nations match against France, after successfully having his three-week ban for stamping on England’s Dan Cole last month reduced.

Healy argued at a committee hearing held yesterday that his three-week ban, initially down-graded from five weeks because of mitigating factors, was in fact spread over four weeks, because although Ireland were without a game on a rest weekend, his club side Leinster were in action.

The 25-year-old was informed he was not eligible to play in Leinster’s RaboDirect Pro12 match against Italian side Treviso, but was still due to be banned until midnight on 10 March.

However, the committee upheld his appeal, on the grounds it breached disciplinary regulations, and ruled his suspension should cease at midnight on 3 March.

Healy will therefore be available for the visit of France to Dublin on 9 March and Ireland’s final Six Nations match against Italy in Rome the following weekend.

A statement confirmed: “The independent Six Nations disciplinary appeal committee, chaired by professor Lorne Crerar, along with Antony Davies and Rod McKenzie, upheld the appeal.”