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Sean O'Brien handed one-week ban for Papé punch, will miss Argentina clash

The Tullow Tank will be hoping to fight for his place again if Ireland reach the semi-final.

Sean Farrell reports from Cardiff

IRELAND FLANKER SEAN O’Brien will miss Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final against Argentina.

The Leinster man has been handed a one-week ban for striking France’s Pascal Papé in last weekend’s Pool D clash at the Millennium Stadium.

Commissioner Dougie Hunter cited the flanker 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) – in relation to an incident in the first minute of Sunday’s 24-9 win over France.

Today’s ruling stated that: “With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of two weeks. The Judicial Officer considered that there were no aggravating factors.

“The Judicial Officer took into account compelling mitigating factors including O’Brien’s conduct prior to and at the hearing, his remorse, good character and clean disciplinary record, and reduced the suspension to a period of one week.”

Ireland's Sean O'Brien Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

The ban leaves Joe Schmidt just four available back rows available for Sunday’s quarter-final against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium.

Chris Henry will be a natural choice to replace O’Brien at number seven with Rhys Ruddock, just called in to the squad as replacement for Peter O’Mahony, competing for a starting blindside berth alongside Jordi Murphy and Iain Henderson.

Second rows Donnacha Ryan and Mike McCarthy also have experience of playing blindside flanker.

Ireland look for Toner and Henderson to thrive after losing legend O’Connell

Henry: It was a privilege to be in the huddle with Paulie, the team-talk writes itself this week

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Sean Farrell

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