Rugby Union: Waterloo in studs protest

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The Independent Online
WATERLOO, the Liverpool club beaten by Harlequins in the Pilkington Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, yesterday decided to make a formal protest to Twickenham over the studs worn by certain Quins during the match.

On Saturday a succession of players was sent to change their studs by the referee, Stewart Piercy, led at half-time by the England hooker, Brian Moore.

Piercy refused to comment but, according to the Waterloo team manager, Jed Poynton, the referee said he would report the matter to the Rugby Football Union. Wired for sound, the referee was heard by television commentators to say the boots were not the ones he had inspected before the game.

'The studs are illegal and extremely dangerous,' Derek Murphy, Waterloo's chairman of rugby, said yesterday.

Peter Winterbottom, the Quins captain, said: 'I don't think the studs are illegal.' The Harlequins team manager, Jamie Salmon, said he would conduct an investigation.

Law 4 (3) of rugby union states that studs must conform to British Standard 6366 (1983), be no longer than 18mm with a minimum diameter of 13mm at the base and 10mm at the top. The studs which they allegedly wore are longer and more tapered, but are extensively and legitimately used in rugby league.

Salmon yesterday rejected allegations of Harlequins foul play. Waterloo have accused Moore of elbowing their full-back, Steve Swindells, in an off-the-ball incident. Swindells collapsed in the clubhouse after leaving the field. Moore said after England training yesterday: 'The allegation is completely without foundation.'

Swindells was discharged yesterday after spending the night in Walton Hospital with concussion and a fractured sinus. He is to be asked by his club if he wishes them to take the matter further. Salmon pointed to Quins' own serious casualty, the lock Richard Langhorn, who had an operation in London yesterday on a broken cheekbone.

Moseley, who hosted the Provincial Insurance Cup semi-final between Tredworth and Fleetwood on Saturday at which a spectator had an ear sliced off during crowd violence, may ban the use of the Reddings for similar games in future. There was one arrest.

France have named an unchanged squad for their final Five Nations game against Wales in Paris on 20 March.

Reports and results, page 24

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