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Fillol deserves year-plus ban for spitting - Dawson

Former England and Bath scrum-half Matt Dawson has called for Stade Francais' Jerome Fillol to receive at least a year-long ban for spitting at former Ireland international Peter Stringer in last weekend's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final between the sides.

Stringer, who revealed that Fillol also spat at him 14 years ago during an U-21 clash, said he was "disgusted at what happened in the game. No place for it in rugby or any walk of life" and that it was "unbelievable" that the same player had again been involved.

And although Fillol has written to Stringer to apologise ahead of today's disciplinary hearing in Dublin, Dawson has called for severe punishment to be handed down by the ERC.

"I'm right behind Strings," said the World Cup winner. "I thought his reaction was admirable. He raised it with the referee and kept his decorum – he probably knew the cameras would have caught it.

"The disciplinary committee has a chance to nip this in the bud and put out the message that if anybody does do this then they will be harshly punished.

"This guy deserves a year-plus ban. I don't want to see him playing. I can't remember anything like that happening in professional rugby."

Meanwhile, furious Harlequins will launch a probe into Munster's age-old facility to engineer tickets for away matches in the Heineken Cup.

Munster sold out their allocation of 3,750 tickets for their famous win but ultimately over 6,000 away supporters crammed into the 15,000-capacity Stoop for the 18-12 win.

"Last Sunday it was obvious from 90 minutes before kick-off that Munster's well organised and wonderful supporters had a presence in the stadium that exceeded the number of tickets officially allocated to them," said a Harlequins statement.

"Given the controlled manner that tickets were made available for the match, it is clear to the club that many of its 'supporters' sold their tickets on to opposition fans.

"To say that this is disappointing for the players, coaches, management and staff of the club is an understatement.

"The club is determined to identify any person that sold on his or her ticket and will ensure that last Sunday's outcome is not repeated."

Irish Independent