Quins fined and Williams banned for 'faking injury'

HARLEQUINS winger Tom Williams was last night banned for 12 months and the Premiership club hit with a &pound;215,000 fine for faking a blood injury.<br /><br />Williams and the club were found guilty of fabricating a cut to his mouth during a Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster on 12 April.<br /><br />The apparent injury allowed Quins to bring specialist goalkicker Nick Evans back onto the field for the last few minutes of the game at the Stoop. However Evans, who had earlier departed with a knee injury, missed a late drop-goal and the Irish side won 6-5.<br /><br />Half of Quins&rsquo; huge fine has been suspended for two years, while both the club and Williams have the right to appeal the decision. Quins director of rugby Dean Richards and two of the club&rsquo;s medical staff had misconduct complaints dismissed by the independent disciplinary panel.<br /><br />A European Rugby Cup statement read: &ldquo;It was the view of the committee that this was a very serious offence and one that damaged the reputation of the tournament and of rugby union, and accordingly imposed a fine of &euro;250,000 &pound;215,000 on Harlequins, of which 50 per cent is suspended for two years. The committee also suspended Mr Williams from playing rugby for a period of 12 months up to and including 19 July 2010.&rdquo;<br /><br />Quins last night hinted that they would appeal, questioning how the club could have been found guilty when Richards and staff were acquitted.