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RUGBY UNION: Welsh chief Phillips hits out
10:00am Monday 11th March 2013 in Sport
THE chairman of London Welsh, Bleddyyn Phillips, says the decision to ban their former team manager Mike Scott for life proves the club should escape any points deduction.
Last week, the Aviva Premiership club were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player – scrum half Tyson Keats – for which they were docked five points and fined £15,000.
A further five point-deduction is suspended until the end of the season and will only be activated if the club breaches regulations again in that period.
The decision sees them two points adrift bottom of the table, with five games left to save themselves from relegation.
A statement from Phillips said the club had, in the course of the season, properly and expeditiously registered a number of overseas players demonstrating it does have controls and checks in place.
“What it could not do was stop a deliberately fraudulent act which was concealed from it and the RFU by its former team manager,” he stated.
“As a result, the individual in question has been cautioned by the police and been suspended for life from the game by His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett, who noted that this individual had dishonestly misled both the club and the RFU.
“As the misconduct hearing itself reported, this is a very sad case where discredit has been brought upon the individual concerned and the club. “Any suggestion that the club had any complicity in these criminal acts would be false and unfair.
“We can be rightly proud of the way the club, and the players and coaching staff in particular, have performed throughout the season, notwithstanding the financial and operational challenges arising as a result of the club’s late entrance as a newcomer into the Premiership last summer.
“This point was also recognised in last week’s decision.
“We will continue to give of our best for the remaining games of the season, notwithstanding the obvious impact on the morale of players and supporters alike of such a decision by the RFU.”
Sale Sharks, Welsh’s main relegation rivals, yesterday pulled off a shock 21-15 win against Saracens to book their place in the final of the LV= Cup at Twickenham on March 17, where they will face Harlequins.