27 Feb 2013

Ineligible Kiwi threatens UK rugby side

12:03 pm on 27 February 2013

London Welsh's position in England's top-flight Premiership rugby competition is at risk after the club revealed it has been charged with fielding an ineligible New Zealand player in games this season.

England's governing Rugby Football Union has announced a disciplinary hearing will take place in London on March 5, with the case centred on the registration of halfback Tyson Keats.

The 31-year-old Christchurch-born player has previously played for the Crusaders and Hurricanes.

Keats started last weekend's Premiership game against Exeter and has been an important part of Welsh's debut top-flight campaign.

But the club has announced it's facing disciplinary action, having brought the matter to the RFU's attention following an internal inquiry earlier this month.

London Welsh are currently three points above basement club Sale with six league games remaining.

Only the side at the bottom of the 12-team table come the end of the regular season will be relegated and London Welsh are now facing the prospect of a points deduction that could demote them even if they were to otherwise finish above Sale in the standings.