Munster lodge appeal against O’Connell ban

MUNSTER have lodged their appeal against the four week ERC ban handed to Paul O’Connell for his Heineken Cup sending off against the Ospreys at Thomond Park.

An independent ERC disciplinary committee handed O’Connell the suspension last Thursday, with Munster immediately signalling their intention to contest the decision. In confirming this, a spokesperson added: “Munster Rugby now wait on the ERC to issue a date for the hearing.”

At least Munster won’t have to fret over any possible sanction against Lifeimi Mafi arising from an incident with Ian Gough late in last Saturday’s return fixture with the Ospreys.

The ERC issued citing details last night from Round 4, with Cardiff’s Richie Rees (contact with the eye area) and Gloucester’s David Attwood (stamping) the only players in the dock. Gloucester’s opponents La Rochelle are fuming over the Attwood incident, demanding serious action for the injuries caused to prop Petrisor Toderasc.

Toderasc was left in hospital with a fractured cheek bone and is in danger of losing his eye after Attwood’s boot found its way onto the Romanian prop’s face during Sunday’s Amlin Challenge Cup match at Kingsholm.

“Some of his teeth are smashed,” said La Rochelle president Vincent Merling. “It’s very serious. The citing commissioner has seen the images.”

Former France international and current Toulon scum-half Pierre Mignoni has announced that he will hang up his boot at the end of the season.

Mignoni, who will turn 34 in February, won 28 caps for France, was part of les Bleus Grand Slam-winning team of 2002 and played in two World Cups.

Meanwhile Heineken and Amlin Challenge Cup Round 5 and 6 fixtures will be announced this morning.

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