Blow for Munster as James Cronin ban confirmed
He will miss four weeks of action17:19 Wednesday 12 October 2016, 17:19 12 Oct 2016
Munster prop James Cronin has been handed a four-week ban for stamping.
The Irish international is now set to miss the opening two rounds of Munster's European Champions Cup campaign after he was found to have recklessly stamped on the head of Leinster scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park during the closing stages of last Saturday's inter-provincial derby between the sides.
Cronin could still choose to appeal the punishment, but he is now unlikely to be available for this Sunday's Pool 1 opener against Racing 92.
In a statement, the Guinness Pro 12 confirmed: "The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Rod McKenzie along with Kathrine Mackie and Rory Bannerman (all Scotland), having considered all of the evidence and listened to representations by and on behalf of Mr Cronin, found that Mr Cronin had committed an act of foul play under Law 10.4(b) that warranted a red card (namely, recklessly stamping on the head of an opponent).
"Having heard submissions on sanction, the Disciplinary Committee concluded that the offending was at the mid range of World Rugby's scale of seriousness for this type of offending, which has an entry point of 5 weeks. After taking into account mitigating factors, the Disciplinary Committee determined the appropriate sanction to be a playing suspension of 4 weeks.
"Mr Cronin is free to play again on Monday, 7 November 2016, and also has a right of appeal."
Munster are now facing a selection crisis at Loosehead with Dave Kilcoyne also following the return-to-play protocols this week because of a concussion injury.
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