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Rugby Fans Confused As Cian Healy Red Card Overturned

Rugby Fans Confused As Cian Healy Red Card Overturned
Rory Cassidy
By Rory Cassidy
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Cian Healy has been cleared to play in this weekend's Heineken Champions Cup game against Racing 92 after the red card he received in last weekend's URC victory against Ulster was overturned.

Healy was sent off after twenty minutes for a tackle on hooker Tom Stewart.

Both players were left bloodied due to the nature of the head-to-head contact.

Leinster went onto win the game by nine points.


Despite most considering it be a blantant red card, a URC disciplinary panel has ruled there was sufficient mitigation to lower Healy’s penalty to a yellow card offence.

URC explain why Cian Healy red card was overturned


The URC explained their reasonings for rescinding the card in a statement:

“After an act of foul play against Ulster player No 2 (Tom Stewart), referee Christophe Ridley showed the player a red card in the 20th minute of the game under Law 9.13 – A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.

"Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

“Upon review of the incident, the panel overseeing the disciplinary process – Robert Milligan KC (Chair, Scotland), Nigel Williams (Wales), Simon Thomas (Wales) – deemed that there was sufficient mitigating factors to reduce the red card to a yellow card.

"Therefore, the red card was not upheld and the player can return to play effective immediately.”

The decision to rescind the card has caused confusion amongst ex-players and journalists alike:

World Rugby has been trying to stamp out head injuries and bring in rules which would result in stronger punishments for tackling that can cause head injuries.

In May 2019, in its efforts to clamp down on dangerous incidents, World Rugby published its Decision-Making Framework for High Tackles. It was intended to be a “systematic tool” to guide decision-making by referees, citing commissioners and disciplinary panels as to the appropriate sanction for potential acts of foul play.

It appears however that there is still muddy water when it comes to the sport's disciplinary process and this latest decision regarding Cian Healy highlights it even further.

SEE ALSO: Rowntree Says Munster Haven't Discussed Toulouse Heartbreak At Aviva

Munster haven't spoken about last season's Champions Cup defeat
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