News in Brief
Richards' solicitor slams severity of sanction
September 6, 2009
Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards casts an eye over his side, Harlequins v Leinster, Heineken Cup, The Stoop, Twickenham, England, April 12, 2009
Former Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards faces three years in the rugby wilderness © Getty Images

  • Dean Richards' solicitor has questioned the "savage" punishment handed down to the former Harlequins coach for orchestrating 'Bloodgate'.

    Richards, 46, was given three-year ban by a European Rugby Cup appeals committee for his part in the scandal in which Tom Williams faked an injury with a blood capsule.

    "It's a very, very severe and savage sanction," lawyer Mark Gay told BBC Radio Five Live. "Dean made a full and complete confession to the committee of the ERC and I think he would have expected that, given he's come entirely clean, he'd be given some sort of credit for so doing. But that doesn't seem to have happened.

    "The cover-up really hurts you more than the offence itself," he added. "But even in the context of that, it's a savage ban to impose a three-year ban which could to all intents and purposes be a life ban on a person like Dean who's given his life to the game."

  • Former Wallabies star Lote Tuqiri was allegedly sacked by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) for taking a "well-connected woman" to his hotel room.

    The Sunday Telegraph reports that the incident occurred in the lead up to the Wallabies' clash with Italy in June. The 29-year-old, who had been on a last warning due to previous misconduct, was subsequently sacked by the ARU on July 1. Tuqiri later launched a case for unfair dismissal that was settled out of court with both parties agreeing not to discuss the details of the case.

    "I've signed a confidentiality thing. I'm not into legal stuff but I can't say anything,'' Tuqiri told the newspaper when asked to comment on the results of their investigation.

    An ARU spokesman added, "We are not at liberty to discuss the Lote Tuqiri termination issue. As Lote wrote in his Sunday Telegraph column last week, a confidentiality clause exists as part of the settlement.''

    The newspaper also claims that ARU boss John O'Neill chose not to go public with details of the incident out of his respect for the woman and her family.

  • A bronze statue of former Wales and Llanelli star Ray Gravell was unveiled at the Parc Y Scarlets stadium on Saturday. The former player, broadcaster and actor died in 2007 from a suspected heart attack, aged 56.


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