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Retired England flanker to be sent back to South Africa in 60 days as his visa is no longer valid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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee