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Three weeks’ suspension for Munster’s Sam Arnold another blow

IT has not been a good start to the New Year for Munster Rugby and this evening centre Sam Arnold got the bad news that he had been suspended for three weeks for a dangerous tackle on an Ulster player in the Guinness PRO14 game on New Year’s Day. The decision was made at a Disciplinary Hearing today via a video conference.
A Disciplinary Panel convened in Neath to consider the red-card decision against the player resulting from the Round 12 fixture against Ulster Rugby on January 1, 2018.
The player was shown a red card by referee Sean Gallagher under Law 10.4 (e) – Dangerous Tackling.
The Disciplinary Panel, comprising of Roger Morris (Chair), Nigel Williams and Owain Rhys James (all Wales), concluded that the actions merited a mid-range entry point as a player must not tackle above the line of shoulders, an act of foul play which carries a six-week suspension.
The ban was reduced after full mitigation of 50 per cent was applied having taken into account the player’s conduct throughout the hearing and his previously clean disciplinary record.
As a result, the player has been banned for a period of three weeks. He is free to play from Monday, January 22.
The player was reminded of his right to appeal.
At a press briefing in the University of Limerick today, Munster head coach Johaan Graan had high praise for Sam Arnold and the contribution he has made over recent weeks and was hopeful that the decision may be lenient.
The decision further complicates Munster’s list of ‘unavailable players’ as they face a crucial three weeks in the two competitions. Already on the injued list are Niall Scannell, Billy Holland, Chris Farrell, Chris Cloete, Tyler Bleyendaal, Gerbrandt Grobler, Jack Stafford, Rhys Marshall,Tommy O’Donnell and Jaco Taute but two of those mentioned could have recovered before the team for the next fixture on Saturday against Connacht in Thomond Park is named.

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