Harlequins await European Cup verdict

The Bloodgate sage reaches a crucial stage today, with the hearing of Tom Williams’ appeal against his 12-month ban for faking an injury in the Heineken Cup semi-final.

It is expected that Williams is planning to tell the truth, and although that might seem an obvious thing to do, the attempted cover up work that his management team are thought to have done might make you think differently.

It has emerged that Steph Brennan, the Quins medic, took a scalpel to Williams’ lip once he had reached the changing room with a mouth full of fake blood – the aim was apparently to convince the Leinster staff that the injury was real.

When the full story emerges, Harlequins are likely to face expulsion from the Heineken Cup, and there could be consequences for Brennan and Dr Wendy Chapman, another club medic. An article in The Sunday Times yesterday hinted that if Club Chairman Mark Evans was involved in the cover up, he may be forced out as well.

Whatever happens, it will be fascinating to know the full story, rather than just rumour and hear say, but it’s disappointing that a club with such a distinguished history as Harlequins should find itself in a desperate position even before the season has started.

4 thoughts on “Harlequins await European Cup verdict

  1. The recent turn of events, with Williams apparently ready to tell all, may be the result of shrewd work by ERC. Whilst most on these Rugby Blog pages have lambasted the 12-month ban for Williams as being too harsh, it seems that ERC have played a clever hand: obviously the evidence available from the inquest was only able to implicate Williams. They knew others higher up the management chain were involved, but could not prove it. So what to do: slap an extensive ban on the player, leaving him with the option of either sitting out one of the pinnacle seasons of his career….OR come clean and share the whole truth, which it is being reported is what he will do.

    Perhaps the draconian and inconsistent punishments we’ve seen are more relevant than we’ve given credit for (though the disparity in the bans to Matt Stevens and Justin Harrison still dumfounds me).

  2. The plot thickens…!

    I had to check the calendar to see it wasn’t April 1st again! What a ridiculously far-fetched story…and it might yet prove true.

  3. Holy crap have you seen the news?:


    Harsh but fair I’m afraid and it restores my faith in rugby as a sport that practices good discipline. Very very sad that Deano has stooped so low after such a good coaching career to date, but he only has himself to blame.

    And the lesson of it all – they didn’t even win the bloody game!

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