Guinness Premiership title challengers Bath have been fined over “administrative errors” regarding the registration of their World Cup-winning Springbok flyhalf Butch James.
In an official statement the board of England Rugby Limited (ERL) confirmed that Bath will not be docked any points for having fielded the ‘ineligible’ player.
Rugby 365 reports that while no details of the amount, or the player’s identity, were disclosed in the official media release, several media outlets in England listed the player as James.
The statement released by ERL said: “The board of England Rugby Limited met today [Friday] and decided to impose a financial penalty on Bath Rugby Club because of administrative errors regarding player registration.
“Bath Rugby Club have 14 days to appeal.”
The good news for Bath is that they have avoided points being docked at a critical stage of the Premiership campaign.
They are currently second heading into Saturday’s top-of-the-table Guinness Premiership encounter with leaders Gloucester at Kingsholm.
Bath have already qualified for the play-offs, and two points on Saturday would guarantee them a home semifinal on May 18.
Earlier this season a points deduction was imposed on Bristol and last season similar punishment was meted out to Leicester.
According to a report in the Daily Mail said the issue arose after James’ work permit had expired – which left him technically de-registered for last week’s home win over Saracens.
The permit has since been renewed, leaving the South African free to appear at Gloucester on Saturday.Tweet