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Ireland's Jerry Flannery loses appeal over six-week ban

Jerry Flannery kicks out against France

Flannery appears to aim kick at Palisson

Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery has lost his appeal against the six-week ban which has ruled him out of the remainder of this year's Six Nations.

Flannery received the ban after being found guilty of kicking France wing Alexis Palisson on 13 February.

An independent Six Nations appeal committee chaired by Judge Jeff Blackett of the Rugby Football Union upheld the original sanction.

It also dismissed a cross-appeal by the Six Nations Disciplinary Officer.

The Munster forward was originally cited for "an alleged kick" on Palisson, even though referee Wayne Barnes merely awarded a penalty after the incident.

Barnes had consulted his touch judge Stuart Terheege, who believed the challenge to be a 'shoulder charge' and Flannery escaped a potential red card.

John Jefferies

But he pleaded guilty, acknowledged the offence deserved a red card, and was banned until 29 March, ruling him out of Ireland's remaining fixtures against England last Saturday, Wales on 13 March and Scotland on 20 March.

The original independent disciplinary panel found the offence, which forced Palisson from the field with a dead leg, had been reckless rather than deliberate.

Ulster's Rory Best started at hooker in Flannery's absence against England and is set to remain in the role for Ireland's final two matches, both in Dublin.

Flannery's suspension currently expires in time for him to play in Munster's Magners League game against Leinster on the first weekend of April.

Munster then tackle Northampton in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals at Thomond Park on 10 April.

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