23 Jul 2009

Williams ban 'disproportionate' - players union

8:40 am on 23 July 2009

The England's professional rugby player's association has criticised the 12-month ban handed to Harlequins player Tom Williams for faking a blood injury in his side's Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat by Leinster last season.

Association head Damian Hopley called it "extraordinary" and "entirely disproportionate", citing other recent sentences for eye-gouging that received bans of between eight and 12 weeks

The Harlequins defender banned for his role in the incident, when Williams came off in the dying minutes with Harlequins down 6-5, which permitted the English club to bring back on their New Zealand kicker Nick Evans.

Evans had left the field injured after half-time while his replacement Chris Malone also had to go off injured.

Television footage appeared to show Williams winking as he left the pitch.