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Saracens fined but keep place in Champions Cup after ineligible player row

Saracens have been fined €50,000, half of which has been suspended until the end of next season...



Saracens have been fined €50,000, half of which has been suspended until the end of next season, for fielding an ineligible player in last month's Heineken Champions Cup pool win over Racing 92. 

European rugby's governing body - the EPCR - have allowed Saracens remain in the competition, and they will still face Leinster in the quarter-finals.

The English Premiership club informed the EPCR earlier this week that the work permit of Titi Lamositele had expired prior to the 27-24 win at Allianz Park.

It had been feared Saracens could have been expelled from the competition.

A disciplinary hearing in London heard that Lamositele was still eligible when Saracens announced their matchday squad on January 17.

In a statement, Saracens say they were unaware the American international's permit had lapsed "due to an administrative oversight".

The disciplinary committee accepted no foul play on Saracens' behalf, and that the defending European champions had not sought to gain a fair advantage with Lamositele's selection.

Chair of the independent Disciplinary Committee, Roger Morris, said, “Following careful consideration of a complaint involving a player who has been contracted to Saracens since 2014, and who remains contracted to the club, the Committee believes that this was an unfortunate sequence of events brought about by an administrative oversight.

"However, Saracens are in breach of the Disciplinary Rules of the Heineken Champions Cup, and that breach constitutes misconduct which can be proportionately dealt with by way of a financial penalty."

Quite how Racing 92 will view this decision remains to be seen.

The French club vowed to take all measures to enforce their rights in the case.

Racing say they were surprised not to have been contacted about the disciplinary case, claiming that were an ineligible player be fielded in a Top 14 match, they would have been awarded the match points.

Had the EPCR taken that view, then the entire complexion of the quarter-final line-up may have changed.

Saracens and EPCR both have the right to appeal the decision.

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Epcr Heineken Champions Cup Leinster Racing Racing 92 Saracens Titi Lamositele

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