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Lux vows crackdown on violence
Paris
December 1, 1999

European rugby chief Jean-Pierre Lux today promised a continued crackdown on the sport's trouble-makers.

Five players have already been sent off in the Heineken Cup and second-tier European Shield competition this season, including Colomiers prop Richard Nones who received a two-year ban for eye gouging.

Sale flanker Andy Morris, Perpignan's Patrick Furet, Begles-Bordeaux lock Gerald Orsoni and Calvisano prop Mauro Vaghi also saw red for various offences just two weeks after both competitions kicked off.

Nones has appealed against the severity of his sentence, handed out following Colomiers' Cup defeat by Pontypridd at Sardis Road. But former French international Lux, chairman of European Rugby Cup Limited, has pledged no let-up in punishing offenders.

"All the teams must stay within the laws of the game, and players must maintain their discipline," he said. "We've had some wonderful matches already this season that have shown rugby in the best possible light but we have also had a few instances of foul play.

"As tournament organisers, we will reinforce our message to referees to maintain a strong line on discipline," he added. "The Heineken Cup and European Shield tournaments are at the pinnacle of the northern hemisphere's professional game, and acts of foul play will neither be tolerated nor condoned.

"I say again, all players and clubs just respect the game's rules to maintain the tournaments at the highest possible level." Clubs return to domestic action this weekend before the Heineken Cup resumes on Friday week when Bath visit Swansea and Llanelli go to Ulster.

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