RUGBY UNION: Anxious Exiles keeping quiet

LONDON Welsh were yesterday remaining tight-lipped over the hearing that could decide their Aviva Premiership fate, writes Ed Mezzetti.

The Exiles have been charged by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) with fielding an ineligible player, scrum half Tyson Keats, in “a number” of Premiership matches this season.

Welsh, who brought the matter to the RFU’s attention after an internal audit, face a hearing on Tuesday where they could be fined and docked points.

Any questions relating to the charge were declared off limits at the club’s weekly press conference yesterday.

Welsh lie just three points above basement boys Sale Sharks and any deduction would leave them in dire relegation trouble.

Sale were the last Premiership club to be punished for fielding an ineligible player, receiving a one-point deduction for the offence in a match against Harlequins in 2009.

On the field, Welsh are preparing for Sunday’s visit to Saracens and their new artificial pitch.

Welsh head coach Lyn Jones said: “There is no expectation on us to do well at Saracens, but we want to surprise a few people.”

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