/ Six Nations 2014

Cian Healy cited for stamping on Dan Cole during defeat to England

Updated: Monday, 11 Feb 2013 18:18 | Comments

England's Dan Cole goes head to head with Donnacha Ryan after the incident with Cian Healy
England's Dan Cole goes head to head with Donnacha Ryan after the incident with Cian Healy

Ireland loosehead prop Cian Healy has been cited for an apparent stamp on Dan Cole during yesterday's 12-6 defeat to England in the RBS 6 Nations in Dublin.

Healy struck Cole's ankle while the Leicester tighthead lay prone once an Ireland maul had collapsed in an incident that received widespread condemnation.

The 25-year-old will appear before an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee in London on Wednesday.

The recommended suspension for a low-end stamping offence is two weeks, the mid-range five weeks and top-end nine weeks, up to a maximum of one year.

England took exception to the incident and a large brawl erupted, although referee Jerome Garces failed to spot what ignited the flare-up and Healy evaded punishment on the pitch.

A two-week ban would ruled him out of Ireland's next Six Nations assignment against Scotland on 24 February, while a more extensive suspension would also threaten his involvement against France and Italy.

Coach Declan Kidney can ill-afford to lose a player of Healy's calibre, especially while he contends with an ever-lengthening injury list - Jonathan Sexton and lock Mike McCarthy are both rated doubtful to face Scotland.

An update released this afternoon revealed that Sexton has strained rather than torn his hamstring, but his participation at Murrayfield is still uncertain.

McCarthy's knee is to be examined by a specialist, as is Brian O'Driscoll's ankle and Donnacha Ryan's back. Neither O'Driscoll nor Ryan have been ruled out against Scotland, but McCarthy could be sidelined.

Ireland's dream of repeating their 2009 Grand Slam ended at the Aviva Stadium yesterday after an inconsistent performance.

After the optimism generated by an emphatic opening-day win against Wales, England supplied a reality check.

"You always want to back up one big win with another," Leinster full-back Rob Kearney said.

"We've been criticised over consistency in the past and England were the perfect opportunity to showcase that we are a consistent team who can back up victories.

"But it's by no means panic stations. We have to take a bit of confidence from the fact this championship is still wide open."

"We'll keep plugging away and if we get back to winning ways in Edinburgh we'll be back in the hunt again and that has to be the focus.

"England are the only unbeaten team, but they still have France and Wales to come who are World Cup semi-finalists, so they won't be easy games. It's wide open."

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