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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Ospreys and Lee Byrne are punished over extra man

Lee Byrne
Ospreys full-back Lee Byrne's blood-bin began the 16-man confusion

The Ospreys have been fined 25,000 Euros and Lee Byrne has been suspended for two weeks after their 16-man fiasco in the Heineken Cup win over Leicester.

The Tigers complained after Byrne's 50-second appearance as the Ospreys' extra man in their 17-12 Euro Pool Three win over Leicester on Saturday.

The Ospreys' win qualified them for the last eight and knocked Leicester out.

Full-back Byrne will miss Wales' Six Nations opener with England at Twickenham next Saturday.

Byrne had gone off suffering from a dislocated and bloodied toe and was replaced by centre Sonny Parker, but was sent back on three minutes later after treatment without any of his team-mates going off.

A Tigers player pointed out the Ospreys' numerical advantage to referee Alan Lewis, who then berated an Ospreys touchline official for not informing the match fourth official that Byrne had returned.

Fly-half Dan Biggar eventually departed as the Ospreys returned to 15 men to hold on during a torrid finale of constant Leicester pressure.

Ospreys and Byrne pleaded guilty to misconduct complaints at a disciplinary hearing in Dublin on Friday.

"The independent disciplinary committee found that Mr Byrne had re-entered the pitch without the referee's permission and that he knew or ought to have known that he needed that permission," it said in a statement.


"The committee found that this represented a clear breach of the substitution protocol, which forms part of the Heineken Cup 2009/10 Tournament Rules, and that the club could have done more to ensure that such a breach did not occur.

"However, the committee found that the breach had not been deliberate or premeditated on the part of the club's management and that there had been no material effect on the match.

"In the circumstances, the committee imposed a fine of 25,000 Euros on the Ospreys and suspended Mr Byrne from playing rugby for a period of two weeks, up to and including Friday, 12 February, 2010. Mr Byrne will be free to play on Saturday, 13 February 2010."

Byrne, the Ospreys and ERC have the right to appeal.

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see also
Byrne ban for Six Nations opener
29 Jan 10 |  Rugby Union
Saints face Munster Euro reunion
24 Jan 10 |  Rugby Union
Ospreys 17-12 Leicester Tigers
23 Jan 10 |  Rugby Union
Ospreys 45-19 Viadana
19 Dec 09 |  Welsh
Leicester 32-32 Ospreys
11 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup 2009/10
22 Dec 09 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup tables
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
European rugby archive
16 Aug 06 |  Rugby Union
Coming up next on Scrum V...
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
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