Rugby Union: Rodber relieved at reprieve: RFU rule flanker's dismissal sufficient punishment

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The Independent Online
TIM RODBER escaped further punishment from the Rugby Football Union executive committee last night following his sending-off while captaining England in the tour match against Eastern Province 10 weeks ago. A disciplinary committee had sat in Port Elizabeth at the time and decided that the dismissal had been sufficient punishment.

'The Rugby Union officials have accepted the decision that was made out in South Africa,' Rodber said after training at Northampton. 'I was a bit anxious because you never knew what might happen. But now I can get on with the season knowing that no further action is going to be taken.

'It has dragged on all summer. I am not proud of what happened. I deserved to be sent off, but I hope that it will make me a better player and more focused on playing rugby. I want to be in action in Northampton's first match on the opening day of the season next week and against Leicester in our first Courage League match in September.'

The New Zealand national captain, Sean Fitzpatrick, came out in support of the coach, Laurie Mains, despite the 20-16 defeat to Australia on Wednesday, which capped a winter of two wins from six matches. 'Laurie hasn't got the accolades he deserves and the All Blacks are right behind him,' Fitzpatrick said.

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