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Thursday, 9 August, 2001, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
White loses court action
Julian White in action against Canada in Toronto
White starred on England's North American tour
England prop Julian White has lost his legal action against Bristol.

The 28-year-old had claimed that there was an opt-out clause in his three-year contract with the Premiership club which allowed him to walk away.

However, at a hearing at Bristol Mercantile Court, Judge Havelock-Allan ruled against the former Saracens front-row. Bristol said they still expect the player to turn out for them.

White had told Bristol that he would not be going through with his 80,000-a-year move to the Memorial Ground.

Julian is a highly-prized and successful prop and we'll be delighted to welcome him at our training ground
  Bristol chairman
Malcolm Pearce
At the time of his announcement, speculation was rife that he had the chance of a transfer to Bath.

White also claimed that he had a verbal agreement with Bristol chief executive Nick de Scossa that the contract would be torn up providing a 15,000 salary advance was repaid.

The player declined to make any comment after the judgement but his solicitor Owen Williams said: "Julian is obviously very disappointed at today's result.


"He would not have pursued this action if he had not genuinely believed that he had a valid opt-out.

"Until we've had an opportunity to consider the judge's detailed reasoning, it would be inappropriate to any further comment."

The decision leaves White's career in the balance just as he is making the breakthrough at international level.

Bristol coach Dean Ryan
Bristol coach Dean Ryan wants White in his team
When he made it known to Bristol in May that he did not wish to join them, the club made an improved offer to reflect his new status.

Shoguns chairman Malcolm Pearce said: "We are naturally pleased that the court has upheld that there is a valid and enforceable contract.

"Julian is a highly-prized and successful prop and we'll be delighted to welcome him at our training ground.

"We've made it clear to both Julian and his legal advisers that there will be no bad feeling as a consequence of this litigation."

White is expected to wait until after the weekend before deciding whether to lodge an appeal.

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11 Jul 01 |  Rugby Union
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