Six Nations 2013: Brian O'Driscoll awaits citing decision

Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll spent 10 minutes in the sin bin during the first half

Brian O'Driscoll will learn on Monday whether he will face disciplinary proceedings for his stamp on Simone Favaro during the first half of Ireland's Six Nations defeat by Italy.

Citing commissioner Aurwel Morgan must decide if the offence, which saw O'Driscoll sent to the sin-bin on the half-hour, warrants further action.

O'Driscoll lifted his right leg and brought it down on the chest of Favaro.

Any suspension could limit O'Driscoll's appearances for Leinster in the Pro12.

The Irish province are aiming to clinch a top-four place in the competition, which would secure a semi-final play-off spot.

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Italy open-side Favaro yelled out in pain and writhed around the pitch in Rome.

It was an act borne out of the 34-year-old centre's frustration as Favaro was lying on the wrong side of the ruck at a time when Ireland were beginning to implode.

The incident clouded what was almost certainly O'Driscoll's final game for Ireland, leading to speculation, led by former international team-mate Paul Wallace, that if he had decided to retire after the summer, he may now delay those plans.

It is not the way his country's greatest player, who won his 125th cap and made his 60th championship appearance yesterday, will have wanted to conclude such an outstanding 14-year career in the green jersey.

Although O'Driscoll has publicly stated his future is undecided, it is widely thought that the attrition rate of recent matches - against France alone he was concussed and sustained a lacerated ear and dead leg - would convince him to step down after the Lions tour this summer.

But his form has been strong, peaking in the opening match against Wales, suggesting to coach Declan Kidney that he still has plenty to offer at Test level.

"Brian has had a strong Six Nations. He was outstanding against Wales and had a good match against France. I thought he did well against Italy too," Kidney said.

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"He's earned the space and time to be able to make up his own mind. Players are the only ones who know when the time is right to go."

Kidney's after Ireland slumped to their first defeat by Italy in the Six Nations and worst performance of the championship since 1999, when they also finished second from bottom, one place above France on points difference.

It has been a trying two months for Kidney, who has been forced to cope with an injury curse that struck yet again in Rome, although this time the match was just 24 minutes old when Keith Earls was escorted off, quickly followed by Luke Marshall and substitute Luke Fitzgerald.

Kidney has received strong support from flanker Peter O'Mahony, who spent much of yesterday's match on the left wing once Fitzgerald had limped off with a knee problem.

"The players should take the blame for what's happened. We've been given every opportunity to go out and play for Ireland," O'Mahony said.

"It has to come down to the players, I don't know where the stick aimed at the coaches is coming from.

"We're the ones who have made decisions on the pitch and have made mistakes at times. It's on our heads, we're the ones who are not delivering.

"All 23 of us in the squad against Italy and everyone in the extended training squad are 100% behind the coaching staff.

"That will be the case until they move on, which hopefully won't be any time soon."

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