(Reuters) – Ireland and Ulster lock Iain Henderson is available for Sunday’s Six Nations clash with Italy after avoiding suspension for a tackle in last week’s Pro14 victory over the Ospreys.
Henderson was cited for dangerous play towards Ospreys flanker Sam Cross last Friday and faced a minimum two-week ban for the alleged infringement of law 9.11.
A disciplinary panel acknowledged the foul in a hearing on Tuesday but said that it merited a yellow card only, thereby clearing the 26-year-old to represent his country.
“The player is free to play,” the panel said in a statement, while observing that Henderson had been attempting a legitimate manoeuvre which was destabilised by another player.
“As the act did not merit an on-field red card, the citing complaint was not upheld.”
Henderson, who missed the opening two rounds of the Six Nations championship due to a finger injury, was named in Ireland’s 34-man squad for the clash in Rome.
Reigning champions Ireland were beaten by England in their tournament opener before they defeated Scotland.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)