If I knew then what I know now…

Lessons from the Cian Healy saga

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.



About Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning has been involved in rugby all of his life as a player, coach and journalist. He has been rugby correspondent on the Sunday Independent since 1996, and has been reporting on the game since the mid 1980s when he stopped playing with Clontarf. In 2007 his book From There to Here, a definitive account of Ireland’s transition from amateur to professional rugby, was published to critical acclaim.
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One Response to If I knew then what I know now…

  1. 4. Declan Kidney: Don’t say: “Cian’s had a lot going on – a lot goes on with the citings process the way it is. There would certainly be benefit in him playing given everything that’s happened.”

    Regardless of the poor legal handling by the 6N, at least condemn your player for acting like he did and not, instead, make out he is wronged in any way.

    Following on from Kidney’s sanctimonious/laughable comment that ‘Irish players are not influenced by money’ quote last month, it’s not been the best of soundbites months for the head coach.

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