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Page last updated at 20:30 GMT, Monday, 20 July 2009 21:30 UK

Quins stunned by fake injury fine

Tom Williams leaves the pitch against Leinster
Williams (right) has been banned for 12 months

Harlequins have been hit by a £215,000 fine for fabricating an injury to their winger Tom Williams in last season's Heineken Cup quarter-final.

Williams, who has been suspended for 12 months, came off the field in Quins' 6-5 defeat by Leinster on 12 April.

His departure, ostensibly for a blood injury, allowed Quins to bring specialist goalkicker Nick Evans back on the field for the last few minutes.

The European Rugby Cup panel said 50% of the fine is suspended for two years.

The club and Williams say they are "considering their position".

Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards and two members of the club's medical team had misconduct complaints dismissed against them.

"We are both surprised and disappointed at this decision - particularly so in the light of the acquittal of Dean Richards, Steph Brennan and Dr Wendy Chapman on similar or identical charges," said a statement from the club.

"The club and the player will consider their position in the light of the written judgement due to be handed down by the disciplinary committee."

Fly-half Evans departed injured in the 47th minute, before his replacement at number 10 Chris Malone was also helped off hurt later in the second half.

Evans then reappeared after Williams, who seemed to have blood around his mouth, departed the action.

Television footage - which formed part of the evidence looked at by the ERC panel, along with statements from several witnesses - appeared to show Williams winking as he left the pitch.

With the match on a knife-edge, Evans had a late attempt at a drop-goal to put Quins into the semi-finals - but his effort was wide of the posts.

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"It was the view of the committee that this was a very serious offence and one that damaged the reputation of the tournament and of rugby union," said a statement from ERC.

"Accordingly the committee imposed a fine of 250,000 euros (£215,000) on Harlequins, of which 50% is suspended for two years.

"The committee also suspended Mr Williams from playing rugby for a period of 12 months up to and including 19, July 2010."



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see also
Quins substitution under scrutiny
17 Apr 09 |  Harlequins
Harlequins 5-6 Leinster
12 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union


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