Healy escapes with light sentence
DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt heaved a massive sigh of relief with the news that one of his frontline props will be available for the start of the Six Nations - despite his poor disciplinary record.
Despite Leinster prop Cian Healy being slapped with a three-week foul-play ban, the seasoned front row forward will be back on the playing field in early January.
Healy faces a disciplinary hearing, arising from his club's Champions Cup Round Four match against Exeter Chiefs in Dublin last week.
Healy, who was shown a yellow card following the incident by match referee Pascal Gauzère (France), was cited by citing commissioner Patrice Frantschi (France), for charging into a ruck in the 17th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (h).
The disciplinary committee consisting - Gareth Graham (England), Chairman Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and Leon Lloyd (England) - heard evidence and submissions by video conference from Healy, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the player's legal representative Derek Hegarty, from Leinster's Head of Rugby Operations Guy Easterby, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan.
The Committee upheld the citing complaint as it determined that Healy's act of foul play warranted a red card.
They found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and two weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.
The Committee then added one week due to the player's recent poor disciplinary record, and despite Healy's guilty plea, it was decided that there were insufficient mitigating factors present to warrant any reduction of the sanction.
A three-week suspension was therefore imposed and Healy is free to play on Monday, January 8.
Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.
* Meanwhile Timisoara Saracens player Fonovia Tangimana was suspended for three weeks following a disciplinary hearing.
His ban arose from his club's Continental Shield match against Calvisano at Dan Paltinisanu Stadium.
Tangimana was sent off by the match referee, Nika Amashukeli (Georgia), for a dangerous tackle on a Calvisano player in the 65th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (e).
The disciplinary committee consisting of Rod McKenzie (Scotland), Chairman, Gareth Graham (England) and Leon Lloyd (England) heard evidence and submissions by video conference from Tangimana, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from the Timisoara Saracens Administrator, Dana Uruci, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
The Committee upheld the red card decision and found that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby's sanctions and selected six weeks as the appropriate entry point.
There were no aggravating factors and the Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50 percent due to the player's guilty plea and clear disciplinary record before imposing a suspension of three weeks.
Tangimana is free to play on January 22, and both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.