The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced that physiotherapist Steph Brennan has tendered his resignation with the England team following his part in the Harlequins 'bloodgate' saga.
Brennan has been banned for two years after helping to fabricate a blood injury to winger Tom Williams during Quins' Heineken Cup quarter-final loss to Leinster in April, allowing fly-half Nick Evans to return to the field in search of a winning drop-goal. Quins boss Dean Richards has resigned and been banned for three years, with Williams being banned for four months - reduced from 12 on appeal.
"The RFU has announced that Steph Brennan has tendered his resignation which the RFU has accepted. Mr Brennan has left the RFU with immediate effect," read an RFU statement. "Mr Brennan wholeheartedly wanted to apologise for any aspects of his behaviour that caused concern for the RFU and the physiotherapist profession.
"The RFU will not be disclosing any further details to do with his final departure from the organisation as all employee information remains confidential."
Troubled centre Gavin Henson has confirmed his intention to return to rugby after rumours of his retirement surfaced once again. Henson has been granted indefinite leave by the Ospreys due to his ongoing injury troubles, but has reaffirmed his commitment to the region and Wales.
"I fully anticipate returning to the Ospreys before too long having finally overcome the injuries that have been a recurring problem for nearly three years," he said. "I'm grateful to the Ospreys' management for proving me with the time needed for these injuries to be finally dealt with and I'm looking forward to getting on with my playing career at the Ospreys just as soon as I can."
Blue Bulls wing Akona Ndungane will miss the remainder of the Currie Cup after breaking his leg during their 44-11 win over the Leopards on Friday.
Bulls doctor Org Strauss confirmed the break following the game and also confirmed that Frik Kirsten's ankle injury shouldn't keep him out of next weekend's showdown with the Lions.
Leicester continued their pre-season by defeating Cardiff Blues 14-5 in the first rugby game staged at the new Cardiff City Stadium on Friday night. Tigers No.8 Jordan Crane capped a fine performance with a pushover try.
September 30: Free practice 1
10:00 local | 02:00 GMT | 03:00 BST September 30: Free practice 2
14:00 local | 06:00 GMT | 07:00 BST October 1: Free practice 3
14:00 local | 06:00 GMT | 07:00 BST October 1: Qualifying Live coverage October 2: Race
15:00 local | 07:00 GMT | 08:00 BST