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London Welsh fined over Keats

London Welsh have been fined 10,000 euros (£8,470) by an independent disciplinary committee for fielding ineligible scrum-half Tyson Keats in the Amlin Challenge Cup last season.

European Rugby Cup launched misconduct proceedings in May, claiming the New Zealander was not correctly registered to feature in the competition when he faced Stade Francais on October 13.

The complaint was made after the Exiles were handed a five-point penalty and a £15,000 fine by the Rugby Football Union in March for fielding Keats in 10 Premiership games when he was ineligible.

A further suspended five-point penalty was later removed after an appeal.

Mike Scott, the former London Welsh team manager, was banned for life from rugby over his role in the matter after he admitted supplying false information regarding Keats, including a forged passport, to the RFU.

And now the European body has taken action of its own, with the Exiles also being ordered to pay 1,000 euros costs.

An ERC statement read: "The misconduct complaint was that London Welsh selected Tyson Keats for the Amlin Challenge Cup round one match against Stade Francais Paris on 13 October 2012 when Keats was not properly registered with ERC as a member of the club's tournament squad, and was therefore an ineligible player.

"ERC awaited the conclusion of a Rugby Football Union (RFU) disciplinary hearing involving London Welsh, as well as London Welsh's subsequent appeal against the RFU decision, before beginning its own investigation into Keats' registration for the 2012/13 Amlin Challenge Cup.

"After considering written submissions, the independent disciplinary committee, made up of Antony Davies (England) chairman, Roger Morris (Wales) and Rod McKenzie (Scotland), determined that London Welsh were guilty of misconduct in that they had breached the Amlin Challenge Cup player registration rules."

Welsh were relegated from the Aviva Premiership last season after finishing bottom of the table in their maiden top-flight campaign, with Newcastle's Championship success seeing the Falcons take their place.

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