Byrne to appeal suspension

Full-back launches challenge on suspension

By Rachel Griffiths.   Last Updated: 30/01/10 4:32pm

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Byrne: Will appeal ban

Byrne: Will appeal ban

Sky Bet

Ospreys and Wales full-back Lee Byrne has chosen to appeal the two-week ban imposed following his appearance as an illegal 16th player.

Byrne was ruled out of Wales' RBS 6 Nations opener against England at Twickenham next Saturday after a European Rugby Cup independent disciplinary committee handed him the suspension in Dublin on Friday.

The full-back was punished after featuring for almost a minute during the Ospreys' Heineken Cup triumph over Leicester seven days ago, while the Welsh club were hit with a 25,000 euro fine.

Byrne is now set to appeal, causing Wales coach Warren Gatland to delay the announcement of his team for the England clash, which he had been due to make on Sunday evening.

Sidelined

The Ospreys player, who was sidelined for Wales' entire autumn Test campaign this season due to injury, has remained with the Wales squad at their training base in the Vale of Glamorgan.

"The player has been taking legal advice and will lodge the necessary documents for the appeal no later than next Monday," said a Welsh Rugby Union statement.

"The Wales team announcement ahead of the clash with England was also rescheduled today as head coach Warren Gatland awaits the outcome of the appeal."

Should Byrne's appeal be unsuccessful, Gatland is likely to install James Hook at number 15 following his performance in the autumn series.

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