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Ongoing disciplinary wranglings 'compromising' Leinster preparations

The saga surrounding the prop’s yellow card in mid-December should reach a conclusion today.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

LEINSTER HEAD COACH Leo Cullen felt he had no option other than completely omitting Cian Healy from his matchday 23 for tomorrow’s New Year’s Day inter-pro clash at home to Connacht.

Healy is in London today for a repeated disciplinary hearing that was first set for 17 December. The prop is again facing the judiciary panel under Law 10.4 (a) (“a player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s)”) having successfully appealed against a ban for a separate charge placed on him at the original hearing.

“It’s important we have clarity for the team all week and Cian hasn’t been named this week because we felt it compromises (preparation),” Cullen said at the RDS today.

“Like Toulon (home fixture), that (hearing) was on a Wednesday and Cian’s in London today; a Thursday ahead of a game on Friday.”

Having already been through the nervous wait once this month, Cullen wasn’t willing to plan for the extra eventualities that may unfold depending on the outcome of today’s unusual hearing.

“Very unhelpful to say the very least,” Cullen says of the loosehead’s absence.

“It’s been a tough situation for us. I said at the time i didn’t feel it wasa yellow card, it was a penalty….

“The Toulon hooker, Guilhem Guirado,  I feel rolls into the gate, and I feel his actions were reckless. Players know if they roll out the gate or if they’re at the back of a tackle there are going to be bodies arriving to clear out that breakdown. That’s a fact, I felt it compromised the team’s preparation and Cian’s preparation ahead of the Toulon game the following week because he had to go to Paris.”

The outcome from Healy’s repeated disciplinary hearing is expected this afternoon.

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Sean Farrell

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