Thursday 14 December 2017

Irish camp 'very disappointed' by citing of 'exemplary' Ferris

IRELAND flanker Stephen Ferris and the management are "very disappointed" that he was cited to appear before an Independent Disciplinary Committee in London at lunchtime today.

"Stephen is a player who has never been guilty of any form of foul play in his entire career. We're hopeful that we will get the right outcome which would be no suspension," said Ireland team manager, Mick Kearney.

"We understood from post-match that it was unlikely Stephen was going to be cited. I spoke to the match commissioner on Sunday evening.

"He was going to study the video."

While the Irish management has been content to let due process take hold since referee Wayne Barnes' controversial decision to hand Ferris a yellow card for a tackle on Ian Evans, Kearney felt the time had come to let his opinion be known.


"The view certainly that I would have is that it wasn't a foul. I've looked at the footage again. He didn't drive the player up and take both feet off the ground.

"I don't think the player (Evans) was ever horizontal. His left foot remained on the ground.

"We're very disappointed he has been cited. He has an exemplary disciplinary record," said Kearney.

The low end entry level sanction for the offence is three weeks, though this can be reduced for contrition or a clean disciplinary record.

Wales lock Bradley Davies must also appear before the same hearing after executing a far more alarming example of the same offence.

Even Wales' coach Warren Gatland accepted Davies should have been dismissed for the challenge on replacement Donnacha Ryan, though he was only sent to the sin-bin.

Ireland have reported no injury concerns from their incident-packed Six Nations opener.

Keith Earls has rejoined the camp after his newly-born first child, who was taken ill last week, returned home, and should be installed at outside centre against France.

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