News in Brief
Bastareaud set to learn his fate
September 25, 2009
Stade Francais centre Mathieu Bastareaud is set to be hit with a hefty sanction next week
© Getty Images
- French international centre Mathieu Bastareaud appeared before a disciplinary panel on Thursday to answer charges that he lied to New Zealand police about an assault during Les Blues' southern hemisphere tour earlier this year.
Bastareaud, 21, falsely claimed that he had been mugged after returning to his Wellington hotel following France's second Test loss to the All Blacks. The incident prompted a high profile police investigation and a public apology from New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. But the player's allegations were exposed as completely false when CCTV footage showed him entering the hotel uninjured.
After returning home, Bastareaud was reportedly hospitalised with severe psychological problems and allegedly tried to commit suicide. He has since returned to domestic duty with Stade Francais in this season's Top 14.
A decision on Bastareaud's case is expected Monday with reports suggesting he faces a lengthy ban from the sport.
- Wasps prop Phil Vickery will make his first competitive outing since the British & Irish Lions third Test victory over South Africa this weekend. The England stalwart, who has battled back from a shoulder injury, will start at tight-head for Wasps' in their Guinness Premiership clash with London Irish at the Madejski Stadium.
- Stade Francais and England flanker James Haskell has been punished by the Rugby Football Union for contravening the 2009 Six Nations ticketing regulations.
Haskell has, "received a loss of allocation for three matches and a further loss of allocation until May 10, 2010 which was suspended" as part of the RFU's latest crackdown on black market tickets. English rugby's governing body has imposed sanctions on 41 clubs, constituent bodies, schools and individuals.
- Prop Benn Robinson, flanker George Smith, lock Nathan Sharpe, fly-half Matt Giteau and centre Adam Ashley-Cooper have been nominated for the John Eales Medal - the award for Australia's Player of the Year.
- Gloucester's Gareth Delve has appealed against his three week ban for striking London Irish's George Stowers during the Guinness Premiership match at the Madejski Stadium on September 13. The appeal will be heard on September 28.
- Scotland's pro-teams are supporting the re-enactment of a historic sporting moment in the Borders tomorrow. Glasgow Warriors and Scotland back-row forward Kelly Brown and Edinburgh and Scotland under-20 scrum-half will be at Bowhill, near Selkirk, tomorrow when the first ever international Clan Scott gathering takes place.
The event, part of Homecoming, will feature the re-enactment of the 1815 Carterhaugh Ba' game, which, some historians believe was a forerunner to the game of rugby. The original Ba' game was attended by Sir Walter Scott and the Ettrick Shepherd, James Hogg, and lasted some five hours with several hundred players on each side. It preceded by eight years the moment that William Webb Ellis picked up a football and ran with it at Rugby School, and thus created the game of rugby.
- Gavin Dovey has been named as the new England Team Operations Manager. He takes over from Rob Burgess, who has left the RFU to return to Gloucester Rugby as Head of Rugby Operations
- Ashley Smith has put pen to paper on a new three-year contract with the Newport Gwent Dragons. The 22-year-old centre, who will skipper the Welsh region in Sunday's Magners League clash with Munster, has played 58 times for the Dragons since making his debut in a friendly against Worcester Warriors four years ago.