Mariano Galarza: Gloucester face hearing for fielding ineligible player

Mariano Galarza
Mariano Galarza played for Worcester Warriors in the Premiership last season

Premiership club Gloucester are to face a Rugby Football Union hearing for fielding an unregistered player.

The Cherry and Whites selected Mariano Galarza to face Sale Sharks in a league match on 29 March, but the Argentine "did not hold effective registration".

Gloucester confirmed the signing of lock Galarza, 28, in February 2014.

London Welsh were deducted five points and fined £15,000 for fielding an ineligible player, Tyson Keats, in a Premiership fixture in 2013.

Analysis: BBC Radio 5 live reporter Chris Jones
"Galarza returned from long-term injury against Sale, but an administrative oversight meant he wasn't properly registered as a Gloucester player. I understand the club admitted the breach and have been honest and open throughout the process. Galarza was subsequently correctly registered for the European Challenge Cup semi-final win over Exeter Chiefs.
"While London Welsh were deducted five points in 2013 for fielding an ineligible player, I am told a closer precedent is when Oliver Frost played for Worcester against Saracens in the LV= Cup in 2012. Worcester were deducted one point for the offence, and Gloucester may be handed a similar punishment, which wouldn't effect their league position."

Meanwhile, Yann Thomas and Tom Hicks have signed new deals with Gloucester.

Prop Thomas, 25, has made 74 first-team appearances, including 43 in the Premiership, since joining from West Country rivals Bristol in 2008.

Hicks, a 23-year-old second-rower, arrived from Northampton last summer and has featured 10 times, though he has yet to play in the Premiership.

The Cherry and Whites, who reached the final of the European Challenge Cup last weekend, sit ninth in the Premiership table with three matches to play.

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