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Worcester Warriors may be handed a boost by London Welsh points plight
WHILE the Sixways powers-that-be are reticent to admit Worcester Warriors are facing an Aviva Premiership relegation battle, they will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief if London Welsh lose points after their administrative gaffe.
The Exiles from Richmond, who play their home games in Oxford, are three points above rock-bottom Sale Sharks, but are facing up to the possibility of being fined and docked precious league points after being charged by the Rugby Football Union with fielding an ineligible player in ‘a number’ of Premiership games this season.
Welsh began the campaign impressively, but their form has nosedived in recent weeks and a potential points deduction would further hinder their survival hopes.
The Premiership newcomers have been summoned to appear at an RFU competitions hearing next Tuesday in relation to the registration of scrum-half Tyson Keats, who is thought to have been ineligible for nine of the 13 league fixtures he featured in.
Although nobody would want any side to be relegated by off-field circumstances, Welsh’s plight could ease the pressure on Worcester, who have slipped closer to the top-flight drop-zone after going winless since their 13-6 victory over London Welsh at Sixways before Christmas.
Should the Keats matter go against Welsh, they may face a considerable points deduction — possibly enough to relegate them — and probable fine.
Meanwhile, Worcester’s former London Welsh full-back Errie Claassens has been handed a one-week suspension by the RFU.
Claassens was sent off for a controversial trip on Gloucester’s Jonny May that resulted in a match-winning penalty try for the Kingsholm side last Friday. His suspension expires on March 2, meaning he will miss Worcester’s home match against Wasps tomorrow night.