Humiliating vote stuns rebel clubs in Wales

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Welsh rugby officials survived a coup in Cardiff yesterday as rebel clubs were sent packing with their tails between their legs.

The extraordinary general meeting of the Welsh Rugby Union resulted in a vote of no-confidence in the 17-strong board - headed by chairman David Pickering - but the rebels raised barely 20 of 500 possible votes in one of the most one-sided ballots in WRU history.

The EGM was called after 13 of the Union's member clubs demanded it last month. They were unhappy with the Union's handling of the sudden resignation of the Wales coach, Mike Ruddock, midway through the Six Nations, and asked why the group chief executive, David Moffett (who left in December), had not been replaced, and they queried the Union's accounting practices that resulted in a £3.8m profit this financial year.

That the vacant CEO position should be filled as soon as possible was agreed unanimously, but the vote of no-confidence raised barely a ripple of interest.

* The Australia Test winger Wendell Sailor will not play rugby for an indefinite period after a positive drugs test on an unnamed substance.