News in Brief
Banahan handed two-week ban
December 10, 2009
Bath's Matt Banahan challenges Northampton's Chris Ashton, Northampton Saints v Bath, Guinness Premiership, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, England, December 5, 2009
Matt Banahan (L) has been suspended for two weeks © Getty Images

  • Bath's faltering Heineken Cup campaign has been dealt another blow after their England wing Matt Banahan was banned for the vital games against Edinburgh.

    Banahan received a two-week suspension for stamping following a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing in Bristol on Wednesday night.

    Prolific Bath try-scorer Banahan was sent off for stamping on Northampton back Stephen Myler during a Guinness Premiership clash at Franklin's Gardens last Saturday.

    Banahan, 22, started all of England's autumn internationals last month against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.

    Bath could now decide to appeal the ban. As things stand, Banahan's next playing appearance will not be until December 27, and the Premiership west-country derby against Gloucester.

  • Canterbury and the Crusaders have slashed their 2010 season ticket prices at the AMI stadium by up to 60% in an attempt to boost crowds.

    Crowds have fallen in the last number of years as the ground underwent redevelopment ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and chief executive Hamish Riach said prices were partly to blame.

    "We know from our research that one of the concerns has been price, and we are doing something about it. We have listened and now we are acting," he said.

    "We have also introduced a range of very flexible options for payment, starting weekly. We acknowledge that this has been a tough year for both the New Zealand economy and many New Zealanders, so by introducing these flexible options we want to make it as affordable as possible for Cantabrians to be able to enjoy their two rugby teams."

  • Bakkies Botha has undergone surgery on his Achilles injury. The Bulls lock missed South Africa's final Test of the year against Ireland and will be sidelined for three months.

    "Bakkies' operation went according to plan and his foot is currently in a cast," said Bulls doctor Org Strauss.

  • Harlequins have been boosted by the news that a trio of players have signed new deals with the club. Chris Robshaw, George Lowe and Ollie Kohn have all signed new deals with the London club.

    "These are exactly the type of young English players that the club is built on and I am looking forward to announcing further signings in the near future," said chief executive Mark Evans.

    However, 'Quins have suspended scrumhalf Danny Care for Sunday's clash with Sale after the England international was sinbinned against Leeds last weekend. The decision took place after an internal disciplinary hearing.

  • Leeds Carnegie won't be making any more signings in the short term according to Director of Rugby Andy Key.

    The Premiership side are suffering an injury crisis with six players currently ruled out, but despite bringing in England hooker Andy Titterell as cover Key says he won't be strengthening again.

    "We are not looking to sign anyone really, we have very good strengthen in depth," he said.

    "We haven't been hit as hard as some clubs this season and we don't intend for that to happen. We knew at the start of the season it was a balance of bring players in, but also developing our existing squad and also relaying on some of our academy players coming through. We've managed that well so far and you are always going to be tested at points of the season."

  • Sale duo Lee Thomas and Nick Macleod have signed two-year contract extensions with the Guinness Premiership club. Both players arrived at Edgeley Park from Cardiff Blues and follow England wing Mark Cueto in pledging their future to the Sharks.

  • Scarlets back-row Josh Turnbull has been handed a five-week ban for a dangerous tackle in his side's Magners League loss to Edinburgh last weekend. He will be free to play again on January 14, missing two Heineken Cup meetings with Leinster and Welsh derbies against the Ospreys and Dragons.

  • Otago have announced that Michael Witt is to return to rugby league after one season with the province. Witt has signed for the Crusaders after an unsuccessful cross code switch.


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