The Ospreys have been dealt a huge blow ahead of their back-to-back Pool 3 clashes with two-times Heineken Cup champions Munster with the news that All Blacks flanker Marty Holah has been banned for two weeks.
Holah was handed the two week suspension by a WRU Professional Disciplinary Panel, chaired by Terry Vaux, on Tuesday, 7 December, 2010, after being cited by match commissioner John Charles for two offences in last weekend's Magners League match with Edinburgh.
The complaints against Holah were for alleged breaches of Law 10.4 (d), tripping an opponent, and Law 10.4 (f) playing an opponent without the ball. Both offences were against Edinburgh's international full back Chris Paterson.
The Ospreys's star was found guilty on both counts with the offences being considered 'mid range'. The Panel handed Holah a ban for a period of two weeks after mitigating factors were taken into account and the player has 48 hours in which to lodge any appeal.
The Ospreys, the reigning Magners League champions, are due to travel to Thomond Park on Sunday for the first leg of two Pool matches - and a repeat of the 2009 quarter-final.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.