Leinster opponents Saracens in trouble again over possible ineligible player

EPCR has brought a misconduct complaint against Sarries, who could be facing a fine or points deduction.

SARACENS WILL FACE a disciplinary hearing this evening over the possible ineligibility of prop Titi Lamositele in their decisive Champions Cup pool stage win over Racing 92 last month, EPCR has announced.

Saracens’ victory at Allianz Park saw them qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup, where they were drawn to face Leinster at the Aviva Stadium in April.

While it remains to be seen what the independent disciplinary committee decides, it is understood that a fine or even a points deduction could be on the cards if Saracens are found to be guilty of a breach of EPCR’s participation agreement.

titi-lamositele-tackled-by-sean-obrien-and-cian-healy Titi Lamositele in action against Leinster last year. Andrew Fosker / INPHO Andrew Fosker / INPHO / INPHO

If Saracens were to be deducted points, it could leave Glasgow in line to take their place in the quarter-finals and face Leinster.

This disciplinary procedure is the latest drama is a shambolic campaign for Saracens, who have already been relegated from the Premiership ahead of next season due to salary cap breaches.

EPCR’s misconduct complaint arises from Saracens’ win over Racing on 19 January.

An EPCR statement says that USA international Titi Lamositele “may have been ineligible due an inadvertent administrative error on behalf of the club.

“Lamositele was eligible at the time the Saracens matchday squad was announced, however, the club has indicated to EPCR that the player’s work permit expired on Saturday, 18 January, the day before the fixture against Racing 92, and this may have constituted a breach of the Disciplinary Rules of the 2019/20 EPCR Participation Agreement.”

The hearing will take place in London at 6pm this evening.

Clubs have been docked points in an EPCR competition for fielding ineligible players before.

Grenoble had four points deducted in 2012 after fielding an ineligible player in a pool game, although Lotu Taukeiaho was not even registered in their tournament squad in that case.

In 2000, London Irish were docked two points after using an ineligible player in the European Shield. In that case, it was ruled that Richard Bates had not had necessary clearance from the South African Rugby Football Union after moving to London Irish from Natal.

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