Here are your rugby morning headlines for Friday 5th May.
World Rugby denounces the “quite despicable” falsification of the Spanish passport
World Rugby have revealed the ‘quite despicable’ details of how Spain were ejected from next year’s World Cup in France.
The Spaniards were found guilty last month of fielding an illegible player whose passport was tampered with so he could be selected for residency reasons. South African prop Gavin van den Berg, unaware his passport had been tampered with, made two appearances against the Netherlands in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Spain finished second in the European Rugby Championship – which was enough to seal their place at a first World Cup in 24 years. However, World Rugby’s investigation revealed that Van den Berg had not been resident in Spain for the required 36-month period.
As such, Spain have been hit with a 10 point deduction, a £25,000 fine and an expulsion from next year’s World Cup – with Portugal taking their place. Now World Rugby has published a full written decision which criticized Spain’s attitude towards the sport’s eligibility laws.
The written decision states: “Representatives of the player’s club had apparently, without the knowledge of Spain or the player, forged travel stamps in the player’s passport to give the impression that the player had not been released. of Spain for more than two months in this first year to facilitate the reclassification of the player as a national player.
“However, notwithstanding the altered stamps, the player had been out of Spain for longer than the permitted period. The machinations revealed by the apparent tampering are quite despicable and reflect very poorly on whoever may have played a part in such occurrences.
“The three allegedly complicit club officials declined to give evidence. The committee further expressed concern that the union did not appear to have an appropriate process in place to review the movements of players who relied on residency for eligibility.
“The committee noted that the union had been sanctioned in the past for selecting ineligible players and, in these circumstances, expected the union to put in place rigorous processes to ensure that the situation of each player had been carefully vetted before being selected. The committee further noted its displeasure that the union did not seek confirmation of the player’s eligibility before selecting the player to represent the union.”
Wales plan trip to Canada ahead of World Cup
The Wales Women have confirmed they will travel to Canada in August to complete a training camp and play a test match in Halifax against Canada on Saturday August 27.
Head coach Ioan Cunningham said: “We are looking at every way to best prepare the team for the Rugby World Cup. We think a training camp away from home, adjusting to time zones and a different training environment will help us adjust to New Zealand when we arrive in September. And a Test match at the end of the week against Canada, currently third in the world, will be of great help in our preparations.
“We repeat ourselves all the time, but it’s really about challenging ourselves to raise the bar by playing against the best teams in the world as often as possible. The TikTok Women’s Six Nations was a brilliant tournament to participate in. We feel that we have made significant progress since we played Canada last fall and we want to continue to improve over the summer. We are already excited to start our preparations for the World Cup and to be able to build on our progress so far this season.”
Namibia’s first captain killed aged 60
Namibia’s first ever captain, Gerhard Mans, was killed on Wednesday while cycling with his son.
informant reported that the 60-year-old was hit by an unlicensed white BMW on the Western Bypass near the Namibian capital, Windhoek. It is understood Mans was out with a practice group when his bike was hit from behind.
The driver of the car was reportedly arrested at the scene and, under Namibian law, will be charged with “culpable homicide”.
Mans made 27 Test appearances for Namibia between 1990 and 1994, serving as skipper for 26 of those games. The winger was named his country’s first captain after its independence from South Africa in 1990.
Before that, he also captained South West Africa and helped the team win the Currie Cup ‘B’ Division in 1987. Following their promotion to the ‘A’ league for the 1988, he led the team to famous victories over Western Province at Newlands, as well as Transvaal at Ellis Park.
Mans’ performances earned him a nomination for the South African Rugby Player of the Year award in 1988. He eventually retired from the sport after Namibia failed to qualify for the Rugby League Cup. Rugby World Cup 1995 in South Africa.
A press release from Le Mans’ first professional club, the Cheetahs, paid tribute to their former player on Facebook “Free State Rugby has learned with great sadness of the tragic passing of former player Gerhard Mans. This is a sad day for the Cheetah family. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.”
Bristol boss quits over salary cap error
Bristol chief executive Mark Tainton will step down at the end of the season. The Bears say his departure is for personal reasons, but it follows an administrative error in several player contracts that limited the Bears’ recruiting plans.
Tainton is Bristol’s all-time leading scorer and served the club for four decades as a player, interim head coach and board member.
“It’s always a tough decision to make a change, but I think after so many years serving the sport and the club I love, it’s a good time to move on,” said Tinton.