Union tries to stop Fourie's deportation

Retired England flanker to be sent back to South Africa in 60 days as his visa is no longer valid

Hendre Fourie may have resigned himself to an early return to his native South Africa – the England flanker retired on medical advice last week and no longer has a work visa – but the players' union is exploring every avenue, legal and political, in a bid to find grounds for an appeal that might win him the right to stay in the country. Fourie suffered what turned out to be a career-ending shoulder injury while on red-rose duty in the run-up to the 2011 World Cup, and his current plight has upset many of his fellow professionals.

 

The Rugby Players' Association has been working on his behalf in recent weeks and while there is no immediate prospect of the organisation finding a way through the thicket of residency legislation that was not framed with such an unusual case in mind, senior figures have not given up on the cause. There is, however, some urgency about the situation. As things stand, Fourie must leave England within 60 days.

Fourie, now 31, hails from the Eastern Cape town of Burgersdorp and qualified for England on residency grounds after joining Rotherham in 2005. One of the most effective ball-winning flankers in the English game, he won eight caps for his adopted country between 2010 and 2011. Yesterday, he said he was keen to start a teaching career here, but conceded that his case had turned into a "red-tape nightmare". He added: "I always paid my taxes and represented England, yet I have to leave – while you hear how they protect the rights of terrorists."

Meanwhile, one of Fourie's old England colleagues, the Leicester outside-half Toby Flood, appears before an RFU disciplinary tribunal tonight, charged with making an illegal tip-tackle on Andy Goode of Worcester at Sixways last Friday. Flood has no history of indiscipline and can therefore expect a relatively light punishment, even though tip-tackling is the sport's "crime of the moment" and is frowned upon by the International Rugby Board. A suspension of two weeks or less will come as a relief to the national coach Stuart Lancaster, who is expected to include Flood in his squad for next month's Six Nations when he names it tomorrow.

Wales, badly hit by injuries in most areas of their side and not given much chance of retaining the title they won in Grand Slam style last year, have lost the gifted Scarlets full-back Morgan Stoddart for good. Stoddart, just 28, suffered a double fracture of the leg during a World Cup warm-up match with England in August 2011 and has barely played since. Yesterday, he confirmed his retirement from the game.

"It's not easy to give up your rugby career but when it really is impossible to carry on you just have to accept it and get on with it," said Stoddart, who combined studies in biochemistry with his professional sporting commitments. "It's important to give yourself time to consider the future after such an intense life playing rugby, but I've already started thinking ahead."

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future