Papé appeals against 10-week ban

Date published: February 28 2015

France lock Pascal Papé has appealed against the severity of his 10-week ban for kneeing Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip in the back.

Six Nations organisers said in a statement that Papé's appeal is on the grounds that the suspension is "excessive and disproportionate."

The 34-year-old Stade Français forward's appeal hearing will be held in London next week.

Papé was given a yellow card by referee Wayne Barnes for the cheap shot during the second half of France's 18-11 loss to the Irish in Dublin a fortnight ago, but was later cited and found to have deliberately committed an act of foul play.

The challenge left Heaslip with three broken vertebrae with the committee saying last week only Papé's "expressions of remorse" had saved him from a longer ban.

Papé claimed his actions were unintentional but nevertheless apologised to Heaslip on Twitter ahead of the initial disciplinary proceedings with the Irishman fully accepting the message.

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

Papé will have played his last Six Nations match unless his ban is reduced having announced his intention to retire from the international game after this year's World Cup.

France coach Philippe Saint-André, who said the morning after the game that he hadn't seen anything intentional in what Papé had done, felt the punishment was "very very severe".

"It was his last Six Nations, it is a shame it will finish like that for him and the France team," he said.

France must beat Wales on Saturday to keep their Six Nations title hopes alive.