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RUGBY UNION: D-day for London Welsh as appeal is heard
LONDON Welsh were on tenterhooks today – one of the most important in their history.
At 4pm, the Exiles’ appeal against a five-point penalty and £15,000 fine for fielding an ineligible player in the Aviva Premiership will be heard by an indepenent panel in London.
Welsh, who play at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford, were punished for fielding scrum half Tyson Keats in ten Premiership matches when he did not have the correct visa to play – the penalty putting them bottom of the table by two points.
Welsh are appealing because they believe they have been unfairly sanctioned for the fraudulent acts of ex-team manager Mike Scott, who failed to register Keats correctly.
“This whole episode has been draining for everyone at the club,” said head coach Lyn Jones.
“The issue could have been resolved quite quickly.
“It is coming up now and we are hoping for a positive result.”
Welsh have not played since losing at Saracens on March 3, but are back training at full-tilt ahead of Saturday’s trip to Gloucester.
Whether or not they enter that match still at the bottom of the table depends on the result of today’s appeal and Sale’s home game with Bath tomorrow night.
Jones said: “I am delighted with the attitude the players have shown in the face of adversity.
“They are very keen to get on the field and do their talking there.”