Catt and Dallaglio set to face RFU wrath after rules change

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The Independent Online

Rugby's hierarchy look likely to discipline Lawrence Dallaglio and Mike Catt for making public their criticism of England's coaches and World Cup preparations and campaign.

The two senior England players had their autobiographies serialised in Sunday newspapers last weekend and their less than complimentary remarks have angered the Rugby Football Union.

The two players, who between them have won 160 caps, face possible disciplinary action under RFU regulation 5.12 if it is deemed that either, or both, autobiographies contain statements which could be deemed to be prejudicial to the interests of the Union or the game.

To this end Rob Andrew, the RFU's elite rugby director, last night requested both players to provide a copy of their respective oeuvres for perusal.

Yesterday's management board meeting also instructed Andrew and RFU chief executive Francis Baron to ensure there was some sort of gagging clause to allow Twickenham a modicum of control over what players write in newspaper articles, columns and in books.

A statement issued last night said: "The RFU management board has asked Francis Baron, RFU chief executive and Rob Andrew to review and amend the current squad rules on player books and articles.

"Once finalised, these revised arrangements will be included in the new EPS Player Agreement to be drawn up under the terms of the new deal recently reached with Premier Rugby Ltd."

And the RFU was highly critical of Dallaglio and Catt saying: "The Board recorded its extreme disappointment that two senior players have chosen to criticise publicly members of the England coaching team and disclosed alleged proceedings within England team meetings. It is essential that the fundamental trust between players and coaches, is not undermined."

The World Cup winning coach Jake White yesterday blamed poor relations with South Africa's rugby administrators for his decision to step down from the post when his contract expires at the end of December. "I'm really disappointed with the way they have treated me," he said.

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