Rugby Union: Saracens suffer as Wallace is ruled out

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The Independent Online
SARACENS WERE dealt a cruel blow yesterday in their preparations for the big match against the Allied Dunbar Premiership One leaders Leicester at Welford Road when they learned that Paul Wallace's season is over. The Ireland prop goes into hospital for an operation on a long-standing groin injury next week and will miss the fierce battle between clubs for European places.

Paddy Johns, the Saracens' Irish lock who played behind Wallace in the win over Italy last weekend, is also out of tomorrow's match with a swollen elbow and joins a casualty list which includes the England scrum-half Kyran Bracken, who hopes to recovery from a knee injury before the end of the season.

The Rebel clubs Cardiff and Swansea yesterday met a four-man negotiating team from the Welsh Rugby Union in an effort to settle the row which led to the clubs being fined pounds 150,000 each for playing in unsanctioned matches against Allied Dunbar Premiership clubs.

The Scottish Rugby Union is seeking alternative venues to Murrayfield and the Borders for World Cup warm-up matches against Argentina and Romania in an effort to promote the sport in less traditional areas.

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