Six Nations: O’Driscoll awaits fate after offence
BRIAN O’Driscoll will learn by this afternoon whether he will face disciplinary proceedings for his stamp on Simone Favaro in Ireland’s 22-15 defeat to Italy.
Aurwel Morgan, of the Welsh Rugby Union, has until 2:30pm to decide if the offence, which saw O’Driscoll sent to the sin-bin on the half-hour mark, warrants further action. O’Driscoll lifted his right leg and brought it down on to the chest of Favaro, the Italy openside, who yelled in pain and writhed around on the turf. It was an act born out of the 34-year-old centre’s frustration as Favaro was lying on the wrong side of the ruck at a time when Ireland were beginning to implode once more.
The incident clouded what was almost certainly O’Driscoll’s final game for Ireland, leading to speculation, led by former international team-mate Paul Wallace, that if he had decided to retire after the summer, he may now delay those plans. It is not the way his country’s greatest player, who won his 125th cap and made his 60th championship appearance yesterday, will have wanted to conclude an outstanding 14-year career.
Despite a slew of minor injuries during the Six Nations, O’Driscoll’s form has been strong, suggesting to coach Declan Kidney that he still has plenty to offer at Test level.
“He’s earned the space and time to be able to make up his own mind. Players are the only ones who know when the time is right to go,” said Kidney.
However, Kidney’s own future is in grave doubt after Ireland slumped to their first defeat by Italy in the Six Nations and worst performance of the championship since 1999, when they also finished second from bottom.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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