Rugby Union: Thorburn reassures Board on drug issue

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The Independent Online
PAUL THORBURN, head of the 1999 World Cup, has promised to heed the International Rugby Board's advice on drug- testing to rid next year's competition of cheats.

"The IRB is due to review procedures for drug testing early next year and Rugby World Cup will implement the procedures set down," Thorburn said. "Rugby World Cup is conducting quite an in-depth doping control programme during the qualifying tournaments and the competition itself.

"But it's not just a case of having more tests. It's having the procedures and facilities in place to make sure they're conducted in the proper manner."

Moseley rugby director John White has defended Northampton lock Jon Phillips over accusations that he deliberately elbowed referee Trevor Fisher in Friday's match between the two sides. The referee sent off Phillips after the two collided and Northampton are studying a video of the incident.

"I was well placed to see it and I have no doubt that it was an accident," White said. "Phillips charged back and bumped into the referee but it's something that I've seen happen hundreds of times. If he had deliberately hit the referee he would have fallen down."

TEAMS FOR UNIVERSITY MATCH (Twickenham, 8 December): Cambridge: R J W Morrow (Hughes Hall); A R Bidwell (Hughes Hall), M P Robinson (Hughes Hall), M C A Denney (St Edmund's), S J Lippiett (Corpus Christi); P D Moran (Hughes Hall), G M Peacocke (Hughes Hall); M T Foulds (Sidney Sussex, capt), S K Rodgers (Homerton), C P Hart (Hughes Hall), A R Innes (Hughes Hall), H J M Innes (Hughes Hall), O J Slak (St Edmund's), M W D Haslett (St Catharine's), H M D Whitford (Hughes Hall).

Oxford: R G Woodfine (St Edmund Hall); N J Booth (Worcester), N W Ashley (University), K D Shuman (Templeton), N C Humphries (St Anne's); R M Governey (St Edmund Hall), S J Barry (St Cross); A S Collins (Lincoln), P B O'Connor (St Edmund Hall), A Reuben (University), A J Roberts (New), A H Russell (Magdalen), N Celliers (Keble), D J Kelahar (St Cross, capt), M B I Challender (St Anne's).