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Friday, July 16, 1999 Published at 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK

Sport: Rugby Union

WRU appeals Jones-Hughes ban

Jason-Jones Hughes: Faces possible fines from the ARU

The Welsh Rugby Union has appealed against an International Rugby Board ruling that prevents it from selecting Australian centre Jason Jones-Hughes.

The New South Wales player was named in the Welsh World Cup squad last week, but the IRB said he was ineligible because he had already represented the Australian Barbarians side, the Wallabies' de facto second team.

The IRB agreed with the Australian Rugby Union that playing for a national second team prevents an individual playing for another country.

But now the world body says it is "reviewing" the WRU's request that the ruling be reconsidered.

'Strong grounds for appeal'

Jones-Hughes and the Welsh Rugby Union want an independent judicial body to re-hear their case.

The 22-year-old, whose father is Welsh, said on Friday: "It's not going to be very good having this hang over my head, but the sooner it's over the better and I think that's best for all unions.

"I feel there's strong grounds to appeal. I don't think all the information was considered fully by the initial ruling body of the three IRB members."

The centre has declined to play for the Australian Barbarians on their two match tour to New Zealand starting next week.

ARU general manager John O'Neill said that Jones-Hughes could be in breach of his contract and have payments docked if he declines to tour.

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