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Arnold out of Munster's Champions Cup games after three-week ban for red card

The centre appeared in front of a Pro14 disciplinary panel earlier.

Arnold will miss round five and six of the Champions Cup.
Arnold will miss round five and six of the Champions Cup.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MUNSTER CENTRE SAM Arnold has been handed a three-week ban for the high and reckless tackle on Christian Lealiifano during the Guinness Pro14 inter-pro against Ulster on Monday.

The 21-year-old appeared in front of a Pro14 disciplinary panel today and will now miss the derby against Connacht this weekend as well as Munster’s final two Champions Cup pool games.

Arnold was shown a red card by referee Sean Gallagher during the second half of the New Year’s Day defeat to Ulster after his shoulder hit out-half Lealiifano’s head.

The Pro14 disciplinary panel this afternoon concluded that Arnold’s actions merited a mid-range entry point under World Rugby’s Law 10.4 (e) which carries a six-week suspension.

However, the ban was reduced by 50 per cent after the panel took the 21-year-old’s conduct throughout the hearing and previous disciplinary record into account.

As a result, Arnold will be banned for a period of three weeks, beginning with Saturday’s visit of Connacht to Thomond Park [KO 7.35pm] and the Pool 4 clashes away to Racing on 14 January and at home to Castres the following weekend.

It’s a disappointing outcome for Arnold who had been in superb form having established himself in the Munster midfield alongside Rory Scannell in the absence of Chris Farrell and Jaco Taute.

The former Ireland U20 international is free to play again from Monday 22 January, but does have the right to appeal the decision.

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Ryan Bailey

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