Johnny Sexton must wait to receive verdict after lengthy hearing
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton could still be banned for some of the World Cup.
Johnny Sexton will have to wait a little longer before hearing his punishment for allegedly verbally abusing referee Jaco Peyper after the Champions Cup final between Leinster and La Rochelle.
It is alleged by the South African official that Sexton entered the pitch after the game and called him “a f*****g disgrace”.
The 38-year-old spent all of today attending a disciplinary hearing via video conference, but no final decision on a potential ban will be made public for a few days.
Sexton could still face World Cup ban.
Sexton was not involved in the match against La Rochelle as he was ruled out with a groin injury (which he has now recovered from), but he can defend himself by saying that he was accredited to enter the pitch as a member of the wider Leinster squad.
The difficulty for Sexton is the alleged abuse of Peyper. With video evidence working against the out-half, his clean disciplinary record is his greatest asset when it comes to trying to reduce whatever ban could be coming his way.
It is thought that the most likely outcome will see Sexton miss Ireland’s World Cup warm-up matches, but there is still a possibility that the ban could extend into the World Cup group stages.
Ireland’s first two games at the World Cup are against Romania and Tonga, with South Africa and Scotland scheduled to play Ireland in the second half of the pool stages.
Having Sexton available for the latter two is the primary concern for Ireland, but Andy Farrell would ideally want Sexton to get a couple of games under his belt before those crunch fixtures as he has been sidelined since March.
According to journalist Murray Kinsella, a final decision on the case will be discussed overnight by the independent disciplinary committee.