The 2015 Rugby World Cup has produced some fantastic moments so far and has sold over 2.4 million tickets. However for all the magnificient rugby produced, there have been moments of controversy and ill-discipline. Sean O’Brien and Ireland will learn their fate at a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday in London at 1pm.
Ireland will today learn whether they will be without Sean O’Brien after he was cited on Monday night following their victory over France. To make matters worse for the Irish they will also be without the stricken Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony, whilst Johnny Sexton remains a doubt. The numbers injured so far at this World Cup has been staggering with 33 players pulling out so far; this contrasts vastly to the number of injuries seen at the World Cup in 2011 which was only 16 at this exact stage.
The Leinster player was cited on Monday night for striking Pascal Papé in the first minute of Ireland’s 24-9 win over France last Sunday. The minimum suspension for this action would be two weeks meaning that the 28-year-old back-row would miss at least the quarter-final if the citing is upheld. Below is a clip of Sean O’Brien’s striking action.
Citing Commissioner Dougie Hunter cited O’Brien 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).”
The citing process during this World Cup has not been without controversy, with many believing the powers have been unfairly strict on in some cases. For example, Alesana Tuilagi was originally banned for five weeks after he was deemed to have struck Japan’s Harumichi Tatekawa with his knee. On review it was reduced to two weeks.