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RUGBY UNION IN BRIEF

<strong>Bath trio fail in ban appeals</strong><br />FORMER Bath co-captains Michael Lipman and Alex Crockett yesterday failed in their attempt to have their nine-month bans for missed drugs tests overturned.<br /><br />The pair were suspended for failing to undertake tests when Bath launched an investigation into allegations of misconduct by a number of players. Both have since resigned from the club.<br /><br />A third player, Andrew Higgins, was also banned but has retired from the game.<br /><br />A Rugby Football Union panel took just under two hours to reach their decision at a hearing in London.<br /><br /><strong>Robson faces headbutt ban</strong><br />HARLEQUINS lock George Robson faces a minimum four-week ban after being charged with headbutting Wasps&rsquo; Joe Simpson in Saturday&rsquo;s 26-15 defeat at Twickenham.<br /><br />Robson was sent off after just 46 seconds of the match and now faces a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel.<br /><br />If found guilty, Robson faces a four-week ban, but that could rise to as much as two years if the offence is deemed serious enough.<br /><br />The incident represents the worst possible start to the Premiership season for Harlequins, whose name was dragged through the mud this summer with the &lsquo;bloodgate scandal&rsquo;.<br /><br /><strong>Vainikolo has charge dropped</strong><br />GLOUCESTER&rsquo;S Lesley Vainikolo has had a charge of grievous bodily harm with intent dropped against him as he faces trial for allegedly attacking a man outside a nightclub.<br /><br />The 30-year-old former rugby league star will now only stand trial at Bristol Crown Court for the remaining count of causing GBH.<br /><br />Vainikolo was charged following an incident in Manvers Street in Bath on October 26 last year, in which a man was taken to hospital with serious head injuries.<br />