Ireland captain Johnny Sexton cleared to play World Cup after three-game ban

Johnny Sexton will miss Ireland’s warm-up games against Italy, England and Samoa
Johnny Sexton will miss Ireland’s warm-up games against Italy, England and Samoa

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton has been cleared to play in the Rugby World Cup after his ban was restricted to three games following a misconduct.

Nevertheless, the 38-year-old will still miss World Cup warm-up matches for Ireland against Italy, England and Samoa but will be available for the tournament opener against Romania on 9th September.

Sexton was found guilty of a European Professional Club Rugby misconduct following Leinster's European Champions Cup final against La Rochelle in May. The Irish captain did not play in the game but was seen having a heating exchange with South African referee Jaco Peyper and other match officials at the conclusion of the match.

“With the consent of the parties, the independent disciplinary committee (comprising Christopher Quinlan KC, chair, (World Rugby independent judicial panel chair), Adam Casselden SC (former chair SANZAAR judicial committee) and Marcello D’Orey (former international rugby player) announced its decision and full written reasons today in respect of the misconduct case brought against Johnny Sexton and Leinster Rugby.

“Johnny Sexton admitted misconduct. The disciplinary committee found his behaviour confrontational and aggressive towards and disrespectful of the match officials.

“It included his pointing his finger at them and shouting at them something to this effect: ‘It’s a disgrace you guys can’t get the big decisions right,’ probably accompanied by expletives, ‘most likely the f-word’.

“His conduct was obviously unsportsmanlike and brought the sport of rugby union into disrepute.”


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