Magners League leaders Munster have confirmed they have submitted an appeal against Paul O’Connell’s suspension.
The man who led the Red Army to Magners League glory in 2009 was banned for four weeks following his sending off in Munster’s European win over the Ospreys on December 12.
O’Connell was dismissed in the 69th minute of the 22-16 win at Thomond Park and was subsequently suspended until January 9.
That term means the British & Irish Lions captain would miss three vital Magners League games against Connacht at The Sportsground on Boxing Day, against Ulster in Limerick on New Year’s Day and at home to Glasgow Warriors in Cork on January 8.
But Munster hope to have that suspension overturned or at least reduced by European Rugby Cup Ltd as they look to build on their four-point lead at the top of the Magners League table.
"Munster Rugby can today confirm they have appealed the ERC disciplinary decision handed down to Paul O'Connell at last Thursday's ERC hearing in Dublin," read a Munster statement.
"Munster Rugby now wait on the ERC to issue a date for the hearing."
O’Connell has played just three times this season following a lengthy groin injury that saw him sidelined following Ireland’s Six Nations defeat to Scotland back in March.