Thursday Afternoon Round Up

Thursday Afternoon Round Up

London Welsh granted temporary licence after 20-point deduction

London Welsh have been granted a temporary licence to play their next two Championship games, but have been deducted 20 league points.


"It's been a challenge. We have had to rebuild a squad in quick time," head coach James Buckland told BBC Radio 5 live. "What we have lost in terms of players, we make up in character."

The Exiles announced on 7 December they would be going into voluntary liquidation and are now trading temporarily as a new company.

"Every player that goes on the pitch on Saturday will not be thinking about the situation the club is in. They will be thinking of the opposition, and how they are going to win," concluded head coach.


Auckland Rugby fined for fielding ineligible player

Auckland Rugby has today been fined $3000 plus $1000 costs for breaching eligibility rules in the women's competition at the Northern Regional Sevens Tournament earlier this month.

The New Zealand Rugby panel heard that Auckland fielded an ineligible player, at the Northern Regional Sevens Tournament, a breach of the New Zealand Rugby National and Regional Tournament Regulations. The player was deemed ineligible because she had represented another country and Auckland Rugby had not received prior approval for her to play.

Auckland Rugby admitted the breach, and accepted the panel’s decision that Auckland's carelessness was unacceptable.

With no other sanctions applying, the Auckland women’s team will be able to play in the Bayley National Sevens in Rotorua next month.


Mat Luamanu suspended for three weeks

Harlequins' Mat Luamanu has been suspended for three weeks for charging dangerously into the Timisoara Saracens wing, Madalin Lemnaru, in the 76th minute of their European Rugby Challenge Cup match.

An independent Disciplinary Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point. The Committee then added one week to the sanction due to the player's poor recent disciplinary record.

Taking into account that Luamanu had pleaded not guilty to the offence, the Committee decided that there were not sufficient mitigating factors to warrant any reduction from the entry point, and imposed a suspension of three weeks.

Luamanu is free to play on Monday, 9 January 2017.

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Connacht lose Aki

Connacht have been dealt a blow with the news that Bundee Aki is out until the middle of February.

Aki is to go under the knife in a bid to cure an ongoing ankle injury. He will miss the team's final two Champions Cup games, against Zebre and Toulouse, along with at least four PRO12 matches.

Connacht team and replacements to face Ulster:

(15-9): Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Rory Parata, Danie Poolman, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion. 

(1-8): Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux, James Cannon, Sean O’Brien, Nepia Fox-Matamua, John Muldoon (capt). 

Replacements (16-23): Shane Delahunt, Tom McCartney, JP Cooney, Ultan Dillane, Eoin McKeon, Caolin Blade, Ciaran Gaffney, Naulia Dawai. 

Adam Jones signs new Harlequins dual role contract

Harlequins have confirmed that four-time Six Nations winner Adam Jones has signed a contract extension with the club, which includes a dual role as a player.

“Adam has had an enormous impact on the Club in his brief time at Harlequins," commented Harlequins Director of Rugby, John Kingston.

“That influence has been both on field, where he continues to do a huge job when called upon, and  also off the pitch, where he has set tremendously high standards of professionalism which are providing an inspirational example to others."

The Abercrave-born tight head has also competed in three Rugby World Cups and toured with the British and Irish Lions on two occasions; first in 2009 and then on the victorious 2013 tour to Australia.

Having joined Harlequins after retiring from international rugby and making 22 appearances for the Club to date, he has made an invaluable impact since joining, mentoring youthful talent in the Academy and senior set ups.

Owen Franks inks new deal to stay in New Zealand through to 2019

Owen Franks has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby, re-signing with the All Blacks and his Crusaders Super Rugby club through to the next Rugby World Cup in 2019.

The 28-year-old tighthead prop, who celebrates his 29th birthday tomorrow, said: After much thought and discussion, I'm pleased to confirm that I'll be staying in New Zealand until after Rugby World Cup 2019.

"Whilst there was considerable interest internationally, I felt I wasn't ready to give up playing with the best players in the game.  I also believe that I haven't reached my full potential yet and don't want to leave until I feel I have."

Franks played his 90th Test in the last match of the All Blacks' recent November Tour against France, is the second most capped All Blacks prop behind Tony Woodcock and the 10th most capped All Black of all time. 

He made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2009 and has racked up more than 120 appearances for the club.

Etienne Falgoux suspended for seven weeks

ASM Clermont Auvergne prop, Etienne Falgoux, has been suspended for seven weeks for making contact with the eye and/or eye area of Ulster Rugby centre, Luke Marshall, in the 31st minute of their Champions Cup match.

An independent Disciplinary Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 12 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

Taking into account Falgoux's clean disciplinary record, his expression of remorse and his youth and inexperience, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by five weeks before imposing a seven-week suspension.

As the suspension covers a total of seven matches in the TOP 14 and the Champions Cup, Falgoux will be free to play on Monday, 20 February 2017.

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Paul Willemse suspended for one week

Montpellier's Paul Willemse has been suspended for one week for charging into a ruck with his shoulder in the 61st minute of his club's European Rugby Champions Cup match against Castres Olympique.

An independent Disciplinary Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.  

Taking into account Willemse's good disciplinary record, his guilty plea and expression of remorse, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by one week before imposing a one-week suspension.

Willemse is free to play on Monday, 26 December.

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Davit Kubriashvili suspended for three weeks

Montpellier prop, Davit Kubriashvili, has been suspended for three weeks for charging into a ruck in contravention of Law 10.4 (h) (Charging into a ruck or a maul without use of the arms or without grasping a player)

An independent Disciplinary Committee found that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby's sanctions and selected five weeks as the appropriate entry point.  

Taking into account Kubriashvili's good disciplinary record, his guilty plea and expression of remorse, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by two weeks before imposing a three-week suspension.

As Kubriashvili is deemed to have started his suspension following the Round 3 match in question, he is free to play on Monday, 2 January 2017.

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

Randall Morrison suspended for two weeks

Timisoara Saracens flanker, Randall Morrison, has been suspended for two weeks for a dangerous tackle on Harlequins wing, Marland Yarde, in the 3rd minute of his club's European Rugby Challenge Cup match 

An independent Disciplinary Committee found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point. The Committee than added one week to the sanction in accordance with World Rugby's memorandum regarding dangerous tackles.

Taking into account Morrison's clean disciplinary record, his guilty plea and expression of remorse, the Committee decided to reduce the sanction by one week before imposing a two-week suspension.

As Timisoara Saracens have no competitive matches until Round 5 of the Challenge Cup, Morrison will be free to play on Monday, 23 January 2017.

Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

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