Lessons from the Cian Healy saga
- For the player: have a look at the ref before you wade in to mete out justice, whether you reckon it’s deserved or not.
- For the Six Nations disciplinary machine: issue a post-decision statement that clearly paints a picture of why a three weeks’ suspension will take four weeks to serve. It shouldn’t take two goes to get it right.
- For the IRFU: always bring your brief. Even if you’re going in with your hands up, as Healy was, you need a legal professional on hand to interpret regulations as they are being quoted. The IRFU will appeal the Healy case on the basis that the disciplinary panel overstepped the mark in getting into whether or not the prop might have played for Leinster tomorrow night. That’s what led to the judicial officer’s ‘three weeks means four’ trick. You suspect that had they been tooled up with legal muscle on the day, we wouldn’t be wondering about appeals now.