Heineken Cup - Tigers step up protest

PA Sport - Wed, 27 Jan 10:52:00 2010

Leicester have stepped up their protest to European Rugby Cup following last Saturday's 16th-player saga against the Ospreys.

Lee Byrne - Ospreys - 0

The Tigers have already lodged an official complaint with ERC following Wales and Lions full-back Lee Byrne's 50-second appearance as the Ospreys' 16th man and ERC are to investigate the matter - but Leicester chairman Peter Tom will now write to ERC chairman Jean-Pierre Lux, while Tigers have also instructed a leading firm of sports law specialists to represent them.

A Leicester statement read: "The Leicester Tigers board of directors have reviewed the footage of Saturday's Heineken Cup Pool Three game against Ospreys and believe there is a clear case for concern."

The statement continued: "The board has a duty to the club and the other teams in the competition to do everything in their power to help ERC to determine, as fully and speedily as possible, who was responsible for a 16th player being on the pitch.

"To that end, the club have lodged an official written complaint with ERC which they are now in the process of investigating.

"Everyone at the club is totally committed to supporting the investigation in any way they can.

"Leicester Tigers chairman, Peter Tom CBE, is also writing to the chairman of ERC, Jean-Pierre Lux, to detail our concerns in respect of the incident, and the club has instructed a leading firm of sports law specialists to represent them in this matter."

Leicester argue the Ospreys gained an unfair numerical advantage after Byrne (pictured, right) returned from the blood bin without any of his team-mates leaving the field.

Sonny Parker had gone on to replace Byrne three minutes earlier, before fly-half Dan Biggar eventually departed following Byrne's reappearance.

Leicester maintain that Byrne helped thwart a Tigers attack sparked by scrum-half Ben Youngs during his time on the field as a 16th player.

PA Sport

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