Fake in­jury an old bloody trick

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

LON­DON: Dean Richards claims that the fake in­jury scam that led to his three­year ban from rugby was un­planned and was “spur of the mo­ment”.

Al­though winger Tom Wil­liams was sup­plied with a fake blood cap­sule in a ruse that Richards said he had used four times pre­vi­ously, the for mer Har­lequins di­rec­tor of rugby said he had not planned the in­ci­dent.

Richards or­ches­trated the de­cep­tion to get Wil­liams off the field and in­tro­duce a spe­cial­ist kicker in a po­ten­tially match-winning switch, but Wil­liams was caught wink­ing at the Quins bench on his way off the field.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion ended with Richards banned for three years, Quins’ phys­io­ther­a­pist for two years and Wil­liams for four months. Har­lequins were also fined £300 000 (about R4 mil­lion) and Richards, a for mer Eng­land great and re­spected coach, quit his role.

“It isn’t some­thing we re­hearsed, it was some­thing on the spur of the mo­ment,” Richards said in an in­ter­view with the BBC. “When we went through with it and I was stood on the touch­line I was think­ing, ‘Oh my God’.”

“I was mor­ti­fied and I knew at that point, in­stantly, some­thing would come of it. It wasn’t very well done at all.”

Eng­land’s Rugby Foot­ball Union is looking into Richards’s pre­vi­ous be­hav­iour and the oc­ca­sions on which he ac­knowl­edges fak­ing in­jury to help in­flu­ence the course of a match.

“It is some­thing I had used and done on four pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions prior to that, two tac­ti­cal and two med­i­cal,” Richards said. “I know it is wrong and I shouldn’t have done it.” –Sapa-AP

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