Six Nations 2015: Pascal Pape appeal against 10-week ban dismissed

France lock was cited and handed heavy ban for striking Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip with his knee in round two

Pascal Pape’s appeal against his 10-week ban has been dismissed by a Six Nations Appeal Committee.

The France lock was handed the heavy ban after he was found guilty of striking Jamie Heaslip in the back with his knee in their 18-11 defeat to Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in round two of the RBS 6 Nations last month.

Pape received a yellow card at the time from referee Wayne Barnes, but the 34-year-old was later cited for the incident, which caused damaged to the Leinster captain’s transverse process, ruling him out of Ireland’s next match against England last weekend.

The Appeal Committee, having considered submissions on behalf of the player and on behalf of the Six Nations Disciplinary Officer, dismissed the appeal with the result that the original sanction of a ten-week suspension stands

RBS 6 Nations statement

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre had also claimed that the challenge was an accident, and had initially included the second-row forward in his squad for the Wales game, before the ban was handed out.

Maintaining that the incident was unintentional, and having an apology accepted by Heaslip on Twitter, Pape decided to appeal the decision, which would rule him out of action until 18 May.

However the Six Nations’ Appeal Committee, meeting at London Heathrow and chaired by Roger Morris (Wales), together with Antony Davies (England) and Mike Hamlin (England), saw no error made by the original disciplinary committee in determining the player had committed an act of foul play under law 10.4(a) of World Rugby’s laws or of the entry point for the sanction, and upheld the ban.

Their decision means the Stade Francais forward will miss France’s remaining Six Nations matches against Italy and England, as well as Stade’s Top 14 clashes with Clermont Auvergne, Toulouse, the Parisian derby against Racing Metro, and Montpellier.

But he should be available for their final Top 14 match of the regular season away to Brive on Saturday 23 May.

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