Contact us: Got a photo? Text 'SLPICS' to 80360. Got a story? Call the newsdesk: 020 8744 4244
Shamed Mike Scott 'falsified documents' and 'lied to the RFU'
London Welsh’s former team manager Mike Scott has been banned from rugby union for life for falsifying documents that appeared to make New Zealander Tyson Keats’ nationality English.
The club were fined £15,000 and deducted 10 points – five of which are suspended until the summer next year – for fielding the ineligible Keats in 10 Aviva Premiership games.
Scott was the subject of a separate RFU inquiry and learned his fate on Friday.
The former Saracens player declined to appear at the hearing but accepted the allegations against him for his role in visa-related case.
He also accepted a police caution for admitting fraud by false representation.
Scott has 14 days to appeal, and if one is not made or is unsuccessful, he cannot apply for the order to be lifted for 10 years.
But in a written submission he insisted he would walk away from the game because he "does not wish to further stain the good name of rugby union".
The RFU Panel of Inquiry found that when Keats arrived in the UK in July 2012 after playing with Italian side Aironi, he applied for an ancestry visa on the grounds that his maternal grandfather was born in England.
When his application was rejected, Scott submitted an RFU player registration form falsely stating that Keats had been born in Christchurch, England not Christchurch, New Zealand, lied in a telephone call by saying that Keats emigrated to New Zealand with his family when he was two years old, and then submitted a forged passport to back up his argument.
He also incorrectly told Keats' agent and London Welsh that the scrum-half had been granted an ancestry visa to play in England, and got the player to sign a blank form, which Scott then filled with false information.
Scott went on sick leave in December, but emailed Welsh's director of rugby Steve Lewis to admit he had created "one almighty mess" trying to get Keats's visa "through the back door".
After he was charged under RFU Rule 5.12 with "conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game", a statement from the organising body read that Scott was "suspended from the management, coaching or playing of rugby union and membership of any club for life".
Read the full Panel of Inquiry Decision: http://tinyurl.com/bvaddj6