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Page last updated at 06:48 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 07:48 UK

WRU chief hopes to stop court row

WRU chief confident over future

Group chief executive Roger Lewis says he is still hopeful that the court case between the Welsh Rugby Union and its four regional teams can be averted.

Welsh rugby's governing body and the regions' umbrella body Regional Rugby Wales are disputing player release for the New Zealand Test on 7 November

The two sides are due to face each other in the High Court on 9 September.

"We always want to keep talking and I know the regions want to keep talking as well," Lewis told BBC Sport Wales.

"Both sides will do everything to avoid going into court.

"If it's court then so it must be, but I think all of us are of a mind to not arrive at that particular position."

Lewis also said that the WRU was concerned by the recent "Bloodgate" scandal, which has seen English Premiership club Harlequins punished for the feigning of a blood injury.


Quins were fined £259,000 and winger Tom Williams banned for four months after he used a capsule of fake blood to get himself substituted during a Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Leinster last season.

Quins' former head coach Dean Richards and team physiotherapist Steph Brennan received bans of three and two years respectively.

Further revelations are likely on Wednesday when an European Rugby Cup independent disciplinary committee publishes more verdicts from the appeal hearing.

"We think it has brought the game into disrepute and it is something that we are all very, very, very sensitive to," Lewis said.

"But as far as we are aware, in Wales we've had a very good record both in disciplinary matters and also in this sort of incident.

"But that said, we will not sleep lightly on this, we will look at it in the cool light of day.

"When we've got all the evidence in place we will certainly review it, but all of the board directors of the WRU are very mindful of the situation and have given it thought."

Lewis was speaking as the WRU revealed a £1m profit after tax for the financial year ending 2009, which also saw the Union reduce its overall level of debt by £2.1m down to £39.7m.

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see also
WRU announces yearly 1m profit
02 Sep 09 |  Welsh
North Wales rugby plan revealed
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Welsh rugby bosses in fresh talks
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
RaboDirect Pro12
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Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
European Challenge Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
WRU Challenge Cup archive
12 Jul 06 |  Welsh
Welsh Premiership
11 Apr 07 |  Welsh
Swalec Leagues
11 Apr 07 |  Welsh
Rugby union positions guide
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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES Harlequins get Euro all-clear - 21 hrs ago
Wales Online Dean Richards gets main blame for Bloodgate - 22 hrs ago
Financial TimesRugby coach blamed for 'Bloodgate' - 27 hrs ago
Yahoo! Canada Harlequins escape Euro Cup ban over fake blood scandal - 29 hrs ago
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