London Welsh await disciplinary outcome that could decide Premiership fate
The Exiles are charged with fielding an ineligible player
Tuesday 05 March 2013
London Welsh's Aviva Premiership fate could be decided today when the club appear in front of a Rugby Football Union competitions hearing.
The Exiles are charged with fielding an ineligible player - scrum-half Tyson Keats - in "a number" of Premiership games this season.
Press Association Sport understands 31-year-old Keats, who joined the club from now-defunct Italian side Aironi, was ineligible for nine of the 14 top-flight games he has featured in this season.
Welsh, who had to go through an RFU appeals procedure last summer just to secure their Premiership place, are currently locked in a relegation battle with Sale Sharks and London Irish with five games of the season remaining.
Sale occupy bottom spot at the moment, with London Welsh three points clear of them and Irish a further two ahead in 10th place.
Should the hearing go against the Exiles, they face the possibility of a hefty points deduction - which could be enough to relegate them - as well as a probable fine.
London Welsh's former rugby manager Mike Scott is also the subject of a separate RFU disciplinary hearing relating to Keats' registration.
He has been charged under RFU Rule 5.12 for "conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union or the Game". Scott's case will be heard at a later date.
The Exiles may hope for some leniency after they themselves brought the matter to the RFU's attention having conducted an internal investigation in February.
In a statement at the time, chief executive Tony Copsey said: "This is obviously a serious matter which the club has not only brought to the attention of the RFU, but is also working closely with the RFU to provide full co-operation while the case is being prepared and ultimately heard.
"Due to the sensitive nature and the impending hearing, the club is unable to make any further comment at this time."
The panel for the hearing will be chaired by Jeremy Summers, who will be joined by Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty and Dr Julian Morris.
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Why are UK rail fares so expensive?
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head