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May 30, 2013

London Welsh charged with misconduct by ERC

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 05/30/2013

European rugby chiefs have filed a misconduct complaint against London Welsh following an investigation into the registration of scrum-half Tyson Keats.

The Exiles' former team manager Mike Scott was handed a life-time ban and the club were fined and handed a five-point deduction earlier this season after a Rugby Football Union investigation ruled that false and misleading information had been submitted during the registration process. Scott claimed that the New Zealand-born Keats, who qualified for an ancestry visa that would have cleared him to play, had a UK passport and sent a forged document to the governing body. Keats went on to play 10 Premiership games before the mistake was corrected and as a result the RFU found Welsh and Scott guilty of misconduct.

Welsh, who were relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season, face yet further woe following the completion of an investigation by European Rugby Cup, the organising body of the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup. Keats, featured in the opening game of London Welsh's short-lived Challenge Cup campaign and the complaint is that the club may have committed "one or more acts of misconduct" when Scott registered Keats for the tournament.

May 14, 2013

D'Arcy to miss Amlin Challenge Cup final

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 05/14/2013

Leinster have confirmed Gordon D’Arcy will miss Friday’s Amlin Challenge Cup final with Stade Francais due to a calf injury.

But in better news for Leinster, Brian O’Driscoll, who is recovering from a back spasm, is rated as “having a good chance of being available for Friday’s fixture”. The Leinster management have also rated Sean O’Brien of having a good chance of being available with Richardt Strauss also set to be in the mix.

Skipper Leo Cullen received stitches to his eye during their game against Glasgow but he should be fine as should Kevin McLaughlin and Fergus McFadden. And Leinster are also optimistic of being able to call upon Dave Kearney's services after he missed the last five weeks due to injury.

April 23, 2013

Kearney out of Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 04/23/2013

Leinster have received a blow ahead of their Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final with Biarritz following the news Dave Kearney will miss the clash.

Kearney was knocked out by Paul O'Connell's stray boot during Leinster's RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Munster on April 13. And due to the International Rugby Board's concussion guidelines, he will have to spend more time on the sidelines recovering.

“Dave Kearney is on a pretty strict return to play protocol around concussion so I don’t think he is looking good at all (for this week),” assistant coach Jono Gibbes told the Irish Times. “Other than that I think we are reasonably happy.”

April 19, 2013

Referees confirmed for euro semi-finals

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 04/19/2013

The body in charge of European rugby has confirmed the four officials who will take charge of the two Heineken Cup semi-finals and the last four of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Welsh referee Nigel Owens will preside over Clermont's game against Munster in Montpellier on April 27 while Alain Rolland will take the whistle for Saracens' Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon at Twickenham the following day.

And in the Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals, George Clancy is the official for Perpignan's match against Stade Francais while Wayne Barns is in charge of Leinster's match against Biarritz on April 27.

April 1, 2013

Bath's Banahan and Fearns set to miss Stade clash

Posted by Jonny McLeod on 04/01/2013

Bath are set to without key duo Matt Banahan and Carl Fearns for their Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final at home to Stade Francais.

The pair picked up injuries during Bath’s 40-25 victory over London Welsh at the weekend, with Banahan suffering a knee injury and Fearns injuring his hamstring.

Coach Mike Ford said: “Matt is going to be struggling for next week and Carl Fearns too. The medics will have a look and will rehab now and we’ll get a clearer picture probably on Tuesday or Wednesday.

“The signs are not good in those first two to three hours but we will see what they are like after 48 hours. Matt just said he was sore and I don’t think he’s done anything that will need an operation or anything like that.”

January 24, 2013

Amlin Challenge Cup quarters unveiled

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/24/2013

Tournament organisers have announced the dates and kick-off times for this season's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Gloucester will launch the quarter-final round when they tackle Biarritz at Kingsholm on Thursday, April 4 (8pm), with two games scheduled the following evening - Perpignan v Toulouse (7pm) and Wasps' Adams Park appointment with Leinster (8pm). The quarter-finals are concluded on Saturday, April 6 when Bath tackle Stade Francais at the Recreation Ground (1pm).

January 16, 2013

Wasps name strong XV for Dragons

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/16/2013

Wasps boss Dai Young has refrained from fielding a second-string side for their match against the Dragons on Thursday despite his team already having booked their quarter-final spot.

Young wants his team to go into the knockout stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup with a home quarter-final to their name and he is fielding a team packed with internationals for their trip to Rodney Parade.

Wasps: Hugo Southwell (c), Christian Wade, Elliot Daly, Andrea Masi, Tom Varndell, Nick Robinson, Charlie Davies; Zak Taulafo, Tom Lindsay, Phil Swainston, Joe Launchbury, Marco Wentzel, Sam Jones, Jonathan Poff, Billy Vunipola

Replacements: T Rhys Thomas, Tim Payne, Will Taylor, James Cannon, Matt Everard, Joe Simpson, Stephen Jones, Chris Bell

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