WALES coach Warren Gatland has been handed a major concern ahead of his autumn international campaign after Lions flanker Martyn Williams was cited for an incident during the Blues’ Heineken Cup win against Edinburgh. Williams is alleged to have dropped his knee into the face of Scotland full-back Chris Paterson during the first-half of the 18-17 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday evening. The 35-year-old was cited by independent match commissioner Tony Lanaway and the IRB recommended action. Sanction for this offence is a suspension ranging between three weeks at the low end to 12 weeks at the high end, with a maximum penalty carrying a year’s ban. Williams will face a disciplinary hearing in Dublin tomorrow ahead of the Blues’ next Heineken Cup match against Castres in France on Friday.
And if openside flanker Williams is found guilty he could miss the international autumn series next month, depending on the severity of the suspension. Wales face the southern hemisphere superpowers of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa at the Millennium Stadium, with World Cup group opponents Fiji also visiting Cardiff in November. The opening match is against the Wallabies on Saturday, November 6, which is just over three weeks away. Williams’ citing was one of four complaints European Rugby Cup received from the opening round of matches with Scarlets replacement Jonny Fa’amatuainu accused of a dangerous tackle on Perpignan wing Adrien Plante. Former Scarlets second row Jamie Cudmore was alleged to have stamped on Saracens flanker Jacques Burger, while playing for Clermont Auvergne, while Munster centre Sam Tuitupou is alleged to have committed a dangerous tackle on London Irish scrum-half Paul Hodgson.
Wales play in red jerseys embroidered with the Prince of Wales’s feathers. Their current home ground is the Millennium Stadium, completed in 1999 to replace the National Stadium at Cardiff Arms Park. Ten former Welsh players have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, and two of the ten have been inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.
The Wales national rugby union team represent Wales in international rugby union tournaments. They compete annually in the Six Nations Championship with England, France, Ireland, Italy and Scotland. Wales have won the Six Nations and its predecessors 24 times outright, second only to England with 25 wins. Wales most recent championship win came in 2008. They also compete in the Rugby World Cup every four years. The International Rugby Board (IRB) regards Wales as a Tier One rugby nation, and ranks them eighth in the world as of 1 February 2010.
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Roger O’ Shuffel is a regular sports analytical expert. Sports fantasy and analyzing are true combination of the authors passion. The teams and events are on the author’s favourite topics to be discussed.