Monthly Archives: February 2015

Jamie Heaslip accepts Pascal Pape’s apology

Jamie Heaslip injury is a blow for Ireland

Jamie Heaslip injury is a blow for Ireland

Jamie Heaslip has accepted Pascal Pape’s Twitter apology for the crude knee to the back that could end the Ireland number eight’s RBS 6 Nations campaign.

France lock Pape faces a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday where he could be banned for the remainder of the tournament after kneeing Heaslip in the back during Ireland's 18-11 victory in Dublin.

The 34-year-old Les Bleus star will discover his fate at a disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday, and put in an advance move to curry favour with the panel by apologising to Leinster's Heaslip on social media.

Heaslip suffered three fractured vertebrae in his back from the challenge that earned Pape a yellow card at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Pape tweeted: "Sincerely sorry to have injured @jamieheaslip in this action of the match, not at all my intention to do him any harm #objectivityforsome", on Tuesday night, just hours before his disciplinary hearing.

Heaslip responded with this message:

@pascalpape thanks for your message. It's a physical game that we play and these things happen. I fully accept your apology.

— jamie heaslip (@jamieheaslip) February 17, 2015

Irrespective of whether the Stade Francais second-row's move was designed to edge the independent panel towards leniency in his hearing, Leinster's loose forward Heaslip accepted the apology wholeheartedly.

Heaslip replied by tweeting a message in France, which translates as: "@pascalpape thanks for your message. Rugby is a physical game and one accepts that can happen. I accept your apology completely".

Heaslip will be sidelined for the next month, already leaving him a doubt for Ireland's final Six Nations clash, in Scotland on March 21.

The influential 31-year-old will be a loss to Ireland's bid to retain their title, especially in the pivotal England clash in Dublin on March 1.

France boss Philippe Saint-Andre has already claimed Pape's challenge was an accident. Referee Wayne Barnes ruled the contact deliberate, but only awarded a yellow card.

The Six Nations' independent citing team deemed Pape still has a case to answer though, and if found guilty he could miss the rest of the competition.

Jamie Heaslip accepts Pascal Pape’s apology

Jamie Heaslip injury is a blow for Ireland

Jamie Heaslip injury is a blow for Ireland

Jamie Heaslip has accepted Pascal Pape’s Twitter apology for the crude knee to the back that could end the Ireland number eight’s RBS 6 Nations campaign.

France lock Pape faces a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday where he could be banned for the remainder of the tournament after kneeing Heaslip in the back during Ireland's 18-11 victory in Dublin.

The 34-year-old Les Bleus star will discover his fate at a disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday, and put in an advance move to curry favour with the panel by apologising to Leinster's Heaslip on social media.

Heaslip suffered three fractured vertebrae in his back from the challenge that earned Pape a yellow card at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Pape tweeted: "Sincerely sorry to have injured @jamieheaslip in this action of the match, not at all my intention to do him any harm #objectivityforsome", on Tuesday night, just hours before his disciplinary hearing.

Heaslip responded with this message:

@pascalpape thanks for your message. It's a physical game that we play and these things happen. I fully accept your apology.

— jamie heaslip (@jamieheaslip) February 17, 2015

Irrespective of whether the Stade Francais second-row's move was designed to edge the independent panel towards leniency in his hearing, Leinster's loose forward Heaslip accepted the apology wholeheartedly.

Heaslip replied by tweeting a message in France, which translates as: "@pascalpape thanks for your message. Rugby is a physical game and one accepts that can happen. I accept your apology completely".

Heaslip will be sidelined for the next month, already leaving him a doubt for Ireland's final Six Nations clash, in Scotland on March 21.

The influential 31-year-old will be a loss to Ireland's bid to retain their title, especially in the pivotal England clash in Dublin on March 1.

France boss Philippe Saint-Andre has already claimed Pape's challenge was an accident. Referee Wayne Barnes ruled the contact deliberate, but only awarded a yellow card.

The Six Nations' independent citing team deemed Pape still has a case to answer though, and if found guilty he could miss the rest of the competition.

Irishman Clarke favourite for Ryder Cup role

Clarke has a winning history in the Ryder Cup

Clarke has a winning history in the Ryder Cup

Darren Clarke is being tipped to be named as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain on Wednesday, as he vies to succeed fellow Irishman Paul McGinley in the prestigious role.

Clarke, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn are the contenders to succeed Paul McGinley at Hazeltine in September next year, when Europe will be looking to maintain their recent dominance with a seventh win in the last eight contests.

McGinley is part of the five-man selection panel who will each have a vote when they meet at European Tour headquarters in Wentworth, with predecessors Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie joined by European Tour chief executive George O'Grady and players representative David Howell.

Sources close to Clarke are understood to be quietly optimistic that the Northern Irishman has enough support to get the nod, although the 46-year-old is understandably said to be not taking anything for granted.

Clarke was forced to deny a newspaper report in October 2012 that he had been offered the captaincy for 2014, a role which eventually went to McGinley as the relationship between the former friends became significantly strained.

Clarke had sent McGinley a letter in 2011 supporting the latter's bid to become captain in 2014, but later changed his mind and also put himself forward for the role.

And when Tom Watson was named US captain in December 2012, Clarke suggested 2010 captain Montgomerie should also be considered as ''whoever it is standing on that stage opposite Tom Watson needs a huge presence''.

With the public backing of players such as Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter, McGinley subsequently won the day, but admitted last year that his conversations with Clarke were now ''short and sweet'' and amounted to little more than passing pleasantries.

Graeme McDowell has urged Clarke and McGinley to put their differences aside for the sake of the European cause and immediately after his highly-praised role in the five-point win at Gleneagles, McGinley insisted his relationship with Clarke would not cause any issues in the selection process.

"Absolutely no problem whatsoever," McGinley said. "I'm going to be very professional in my input.

"I'm going to get opinions from a lot of players and a lot of people before I put my opinion forward as to what it will be. Just like I was very much pushed over the line by the players, I want to get the opinion of the players.

''I think we're very fortunate in Europe, a little bit like the Liverpool soccer team and the boot room, I think a lot of us have benefited hugely from being vice-captains. Darren has been a vice-captain along with many other guys. We will see where that all evolves and I'll make a professional decision based on the views of people that I respect.''

Whoever is chosen on Wednesday can expect their opposite number to be 2012 captain Davis Love, who will be given a chance at redemption after being on the wrong end of the 'Miracle at Medinah' according to reports in the United States.

Love, whose side led 10-6 going into the singles in Chicago only to lose by a single point, was part of the 11-man task force created to examine all aspects of the United States Ryder Cup process after the defeat at Gleneagles, but was thought to be behind 2008 captain Paul Azinger and Fred Couples in the pecking order.

Cricket legend calls for Ireland promotion

John Mooney hit the winning runs for Ireland at the World Cup

John Mooney hit the winning runs for Ireland at the World Cup

Ireland’s World Cup victory over West Indies has convinced cricket legend Michael Holding they deserve to be granted immediate Test status.

International Cricket Council constitution, updated last year, provides a pathway for Ireland and other aspiring nations to play Tests in the foreseeable future.

Even so, there remain those who fear a 'glass ceiling', not least for a country like Ireland who – without Test status – continue to run the risk of losing their best players to neighbouring England.

They nonetheless began their World Cup campaign with a four-wicket win over the Windies in Nelson on Sunday, a performance former pace-bowling great Holding believes is stronger evidence than ever that Ireland should be fast-tracked.

Holding, part of the Windies' much-feared seam attack in their glory days during the 1970s and 80s, told Wisden India: "Ireland need to be recognised now.

"It's about time … if they continue to linger around the lower regions of world cricket they'll continue to lose good cricketers.

"(Eoin) Morgan left Ireland to play for England because he saw brighter prospects."

Ireland's next match in the cricket World Cup will come against United Arab Emirates next Wednesday.