Rugby Union: President explains RFU view on Rodber: Clement ready to fill in for Wales

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The Independent Online
IAN BEER, the RFU president, has explained why Tim Rodber was allowed to play in the second Test against South Africa despite being sent off four days earlier against Eastern Province. Beer said he was responding to 'the concern expressed by a number of clubs at the apparent lack of appropriate disciplinary action in the case of Rodber'.

He said RFU officials were surprised by the disciplinary committee's verdict that dismissal was sufficient punishment but felt they were unable to ignore the decision and impose further punishment on their own player.

'The RFU does not condone violent play, but it recognises the right of a disciplinary panel to take that decision and in the circumstances that pertained it felt that it could not reasonably impose a further penalty on Rodber, who now has to live with the stigma of being only the second player to be sent off playing for England,' he said.

Beer added that the match was 'a disgrace to the good name of rugby and illegal acts of violence were allowed to take place virtually unchecked throughout'.

The Welsh centre Mike Hall, who left the field against Tonga on Wednesday with an Achilles injury, has fractured a bone in his right wrist and will miss tomorrow's Test against Western Samoa.

Wales's other centre, Neil Boobyer, injured his shoulder in the same match and if he fails a late fitness test the Swansea full- back Tony Clement, who played in that position alongside Hall against France last season, will fill in.

The Samoans have picked four new caps, including Toa Samania on the right wing. Fereti Tuilagi and Va'a Vitale also make their international debuts while the former flanker Dyln Mika will pack down with the Pontypool lock Mataafa Keenan in the second row. The former skipper Lolani Koko has been dropped for disciplinary reasons.