The East Terrace - For the rugby football enthusiast

Alejandro Moreno facing lengthy ban over Henson incident

Moreno and Henson
Prop forward Moreno and Henson (inset)

Posted 5th January, 2006

Leicester prop Alejandro Moreno could be looking at a lengthy ban from domestic rugby after being summoned to a hearing of the UK branch of the Front Row Committee (FRC).

The FRC, made up of former front-row forwards who played rugby at the highest level, have demanded to know how Moreno, as a prop, was felled by a threequarter and suffered a serious blood injury as a result. The incident happened in the European Cup game between the Ospreys and Leicester in December. An off the ball confrontation between Moreno and Ospreys centre Gavin Henson ended with the Argentinean born prop coming off the worse. The game was won 17-15 by the Leicester Tigers and Henson was given a ten-week ban for his actions, which he intends to appeal against.

‘The game may be professional now,’ said John Moore, a spokesman for the FRC, ‘but we need to ensure the values and spirit of our great game are upheld. It means we need to preserve traditions, friendship, fair play, the arts of scrummaging and the skills of backline play. We also need to make sure that puny threequarters don’t beat up front row forwards.’

The FRC are particularly dismayed that Moreno, who has previously plied his trade in the tough environment of the French championship, was injured by a back who was only just returning from a long-term injury.

‘We have to consider,’ said Moore, ‘that not only was Moreno ‘duffed up’ by a back, he was duffed up by a back who shaves his legs, wears fake tan and has only just returned from a groin injury. I just hope Keith Murdoch doesn’t find out about this! Now the game is professional it reaches millions of children who could be the players of the future. What kind of example does it send to future props and hookers if they see their role models getting a beating from a guy who stands around in the backs doing nothing all day? We have to act fast to stamp this out for the good of the game’s image.’

If found guilty Moreno can expect a harsh ban. The FRC are notorious for their disdain of front row forwards who transgress what they see as the unwritten codes of the position. In 2003 the FRC banned Springbok prop Richard Bands for nine weeks after he scored a solo forty-metre try against the All Blacks. The score was deemed ‘contrary to the spirit of propping’ by the panel.

As of press time The East Terrace could get no comment on the incident from any of the parties involved.