News in brief
Brive duo banned
December 17, 2009

  • Brive will pay dearly for indiscipline against London Irish after duo Guillaume Ribes and Arnaud Mela were found guilty of foul play at seperate ERC committee hearings. Ospreys wing Tommy Bowe was more fortunate, as while a citing for a dangerous tackle was upheld he was not handed a suspension as it was not worthy of a red card.

    Mela was found guilty of punching Danie Coetzee and won't play until February 2010 after he was handed a seven week ban. Ribes, meanwhile, has received a four week ban after his red card for kicking Coetzee. The suspensions come as further bad news for the big spending French side, who are currently pointless in their Heineken Cup group and eighth in the Top 14. Both parties have a right to appeal the rulings.

    The Stade Francais duo of Julien Dupuy amd David Attoub's hearing has been deferred until Friday morning. An ERC statement said the hearing was adjourned due to "unforeseen travel delays".

  • Scarlets coach Nigel Davies has admitted that poor crowds are a serious cause for concern in Welsh rugby.

    The Llanelli side attracted just 9,012 to Parc y Scarlets for the visit of holders Leinster in the Heineken Cup last weekend, while Cardiff saw just 10,511 spectators come through the gates for their clash with Toulouse at the Cardiff City Stadium. And Davies says it's an issue that needs to be addressed with average crowds down across the board.

    "It is a problem and I think we need to look at it as a nation and a sport, because it's got huge impact medium to longer term, particularly with new stadia and the game going more and more professional," Davies told The Western Mail.

    "For us to compete with the likes of Leinster. Munster and Leicester we really have to make sure we get more people through the gates. It could be seen as a major concern. The crowd that was here was magnificent. They were singing throughout and they tried to get behind us.

    "But there's no doubt it's hugely disappointing that we couldn't get at least another three or four thousand here. You would like to think that ourselves against Leinster would be a match that everybody would want to come and see, particularly with where we had put ourselves in the group before that game."

  • Ireland's hopes of retaining their Six Nations crown were boosted by news that Jerry Flannery's surgery will only keep him out for four weeks.

    The Munster hooker was initially feared to be a long term absentee, but after exploratory surgery in London yesterday it was deemed Flannery would be available for his side's away match with Treviso on January 17/18. Coach Tony McGahan welcomed the news, "It's good news for Jerry, I'm delighted for him, his entry point back into playing games looks like Treviso at this stage," he said. "We're delighted for him and delighted for ourselves that we get such a good player back so we'll wait and see but at this stage it's Treviso."

  • All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has been named Kelvin R. Tremain player of the year for the third time. The award will join the IRB world player gong the influential openside picked up last month, he is the first player to be voted New Zealand's finest three times having won in 2003 and 2006.

    Mils Muliaina was voted Super 14 player of the year, while under-20 international Aaron Cruden won young player of the year and Bryce Lawrence won referee of the year.

  • Ally Hogg has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season, dealing a blow to his club Edinburgh and his hopes of rekindling his international career with Scotland.

    Edinburgh coach Rob Moffat confirmed that the backrow forward will undergo surgery on a tear on a muscle in his hip which will curtail his involvement. He had missed out on the Scottish squad for the autumn internationals, but had hoped his club form would earn him an international recall. Moffat also confirmed that Lion Mike Blair would miss this weekend's clash with Bath.

    "Ally has suffered a tear in a muscle in his hip and will have an operation this week," Moffat said."It means he will be out of action for six months and so will not be available for selection for the Six Nations campaign. Ally was involved down in Bath last weekend and could have played again this week - in fact, he really wanted to play. But the club decided he should undergo surgery as soon as possible."

  • Coventry RFC have been deducted 15 points by the RFU after going into administration on December 4.

    A RFU statement read, "The Rugby Football Union's Management Board today confirmed a 15-point deduction for Coventry RFC following notification on 4 December that the club had been placed into administration.

    "The RFU management board group delegated to deal with the Coventry situation continues to be in regular, and productive, dialogue with the administrators Begbie Taylor and the Union remains keen to support them as far as is possible. Under the RFU's general administrative regulation 3.6, an insolvency event occurring during the season at a Guinness Premiership, Championship or National League club carries this level of penalty."

  • Aleki Lutui has signed a new deal with Worcester Warriors that will see the Tongan stay at Sixways until 2011 with an option of another year.

    Coach Mike Ruddock said, ""Aleki is a great Warrior, a great player. He is hugely respected in our camp and right across the Premiership. He is such a catalyst for our game, when he goes forward it gives everyone a lift and it's great he is now on board for a few more years. I don't think anyone connected with the Warriors will forget that tackle against Saracens a few years ago when he nailed a player in that must-win game and gave everyone a lift."

  • Dragons coach Paul Turner says he is expecting to pen a new deal with the region by the end of the week. The ex-Wales international has been in charge of the club for five years, they are currently fourth in the Magners League.

  • Llanelli RFC have suspended two of it's players following irregularities in a doping test. Props Ian Jones and Aled Hopkins tested positive for a stimulant banned under the UK anti-doping rules after the 14 November game against Newport RFC.


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