Jack McGrath banned for ‘deliberate’ stamping act

Leinster's Jack McGrath and Franco van der Merwe of Ulster
Leinster's Jack McGrath and Franco van der Merwe of Ulster

An independent disciplinary hearing has ruled that Leinster prop, Jack McGrath, deliberately stamped on an opponent during the Guinness PRO12 match against Ulster last Saturday.

The citing complaint brought against McGrath was upheld by the panel and an initial five week ban was reduced to three taking into account factors including his unblemished playing record.

It means McGrath will miss Leinster’s PRO12 game this weekend against the Blues plus their last two pool matches in the European Cup against Castres and Wasps.

However, the reduced ban means he will be available for Ireland’s opening game in the Six Nations against Italy.

McGrath was seen to stamp on the ankle joints of Rory Best – his Ireland front row team-mate – in the 64th minute of the PRO12 Irish derby clash.

Although he was penalised and warned of his future conduct by the referee, a citing commissioner deemed the incident merited further punishment.

A PRO12 statement said: “The disciplinary committee’s view was that the player’s action were deliberate and were at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions for foul play.”

McGrath can return to action on Sunday, January 25 but can appeal the ban.