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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 11:52 GMT
England fined over error
England coach Clive Woodward will be a relieved man
England coach Clive Woodward will be a relieved man
England have been fined 10,000 for briefly fielding an extra man in their World Cup match against Samoa.

The team's fitness coach Dave Reddin has also been suspended for two matches over the incident.

The punishments were handed out on Thursday in Sydney after a four-hour disciplinary hearing led by the International Rugby Board's judicial officer Brian McLaughlin.

The news will be greeted with relief by the England camp, who had feared they might be deducted points after wing Dan Luger illegally took the field in Melbourne.

Luger was on the field for 34 seconds and made one tackle while team-mate Mike Tindall received treatment.

Reddin was suspended for ignoring fourth official Brett Bowden's touchline instructions.

Tournament officials said the punishments were based on the fact that "there was a specific direction given to act contrary to the instructions of a match official".

Dave Reddin is and will continue to be a valuable and well respected member of the squad
RFU statement
But Reddin was cleared of misconduct, after reportedly becoming involved in a post-match verbal spat with fourth official Steve Walsh.

Reddin will not be allowed on the sidelines for Sunday's match against Uruguay or England's forthcoming quarter-final.

"There were a range of mitigating circumstances, including a clean record, character evidence and an apology," said McLaughlin.

"But this was weighed against a number of factors including the fact that the directions of the match official were ignored and the need to maintain the integrity of the match officials."

A touchline ban is commonplace in football, but very rare in the 15-man game.

In a statement, the Rugby Football Union said: "Dave Reddin is and will continue to be a valuable and well respected member of the squad.

It's all a bit of a joke. Who really gives a hoot?
Hamish Rolleson
"The England squad and management accept the judgement and now look forward to the fixture against Uruguay on Sunday."

England currently top Pool C and have already booked a quarter-final clash against Wales.

But Thursday's announcement comes at a bad time for the squad, who have struggled to live up to their 'favourites' tag since arriving down under.

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