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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Lions star faces trial in France
Picture of Gareth Thomas
Gareth Thomas is currently in New Zealand with the Lions
Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas and three former club-mates will stand trial accused of assault and sexual assault in France later this year.

Mr Thomas, ex-Bridgend RFC team mates Phil Booth and Andy Moore and coach Richard Webster face trial over alleged incidents after a 2003 match in Pau.

Prop Mr Booth allegedly made a gesture to a woman, sparking a brawl in which Mr Moore and Mr Thomas became involved.

The four men deny all the charges, but face a trial in Pau on 13 October.

Mr Thomas is currently touring New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions and has been selected to play on the wing in the first test match against the All Blacks on Saturday.

Mr Thomas, Mr Booth and Mr Moore were players with Bridgend RFC at the time of the alleged incident in October 2003, while Mr Webster was a coach.

Deny charges

The club had lost 18-9 to Pau in a Parker Pen Cup match.

The alleged incidents happened in the nearby town of Lescar at the El Barrio club following the game.

Prop Mr Booth allegedly made a sexual gesture towards a 22-year-old French woman at the nightclub.

Andy Moore, Bridgend
Andy Moore retired from rugby due to injury in 2004

When the woman's fiancée intervened, a brawl began, with Mr Moore and Mr Thomas allegedly becoming involved.

All three players and Mr Webster, the team coach at the time, last appeared before a French court to deny all charges in November 2003.

A short hearing at the Palais de Justice in Pau on Thursday set 13 October as the date for the trial of all four men.

A spokeswoman said the prosecution case was expected to last no more than two hours.

Gareth Thomas currently plays his club rugby in France for Toulouse and captained Wales during its recent grand slam-winning campaign.

Phil Booth played for Llanelli RFC last season while Andy Moore retired in 2004 due to a neck injury.


SEE ALSO:
Rugby stars deny Pau assault
24 Nov 03 |  Wales
Ravens trio face French court
31 Mar 03 |  Wales
Bridgend admit bar 'incident'
25 Oct 02 |  European



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