Quins set for appeal date
August 8, 2009
Tom Williams has appealed his 12-month ban © Getty Images
The latest twist in the Harlequins fake blood injury controversy will play out in Glasgow next Monday with the club and banned winger Tom Williams set to face an independent appeals panel.
Williams was found guilty last month of fabricating a cut to the mouth in order for fly-half Nick Evans to be restored to the field of play in the dying moments of their Heineken Cup quarter-final loss to Leinster last season. The Premiership club were also found guilty of misconduct and fined €250,000 (£215,000) half of which was suspended for two years.
The player has since lodged an appeal against his 12-month ban, while European Rugby Cup (ERC) chiefs have appealed the ruling against the club and former Director of Rugby Dean Richards. Richards tendered his resignation on Saturday after controversially being cleared of charges, but will now face the panel alongside club doctor Wendy Chapman and physiotherapist Steph Brennan.
ERC Disciplinary Officer Roger O'Connor has also disputed the fine handed to the club, with possible exclusion from this season's Heineken Cup around the corner should the panel decide that the fine was insufficient punishment.
Williams has the backing of the Professional Rugby Players' Association (PRA), who branded the decision against the player as "excessive and entirely disproportionate".
The independent Appeal Committee will be chaired by Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and also comprise Professor Lorne D Crerar (Scotland) and Mark McParland (Ireland).
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