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RUGBY UNION: KICK KYRAN? IT WAS AN ACCIDENT; ZURICH PREMIERSHIP SPECIAL: Bath 27 Wasps 27: Grewcock: My conscience is clear.

Byline: Alex SPINK

ENGLAND star Danny Grewcock faces his disciplinary showdown tomorrow insisting: "My conscience is clear."

The Bath captain has been sent to Coventry for kicking England team-mate Kyran Bracken in the face and being sent off eight days ago.

But after helping Bath recover from 24-9 down to draw a thriller with Wasps at the Rec, he was upbeat about his prospects of avoiding a long suspension.

Grewcock, who faces a disciplinary hearing in his home city of Coventry, spoke for the first time about an incident which could cost him his England shirt this autumn if the recommended 12-week ban is implemented.

But he said: "I know in my heart that there was no malice in what I did and I am hopeful that the guys on the RFU panel will see it that way, too.

"I won't say I am confident all will be well because Kyran was cut and there is no video evidence, which I really believe would have helped my case. It would have been there for everyone to see.

"But I can honestly say that my conscience is clear. There was no intent involved, and Kyran agrees. The way he spoke out on my behalf was superb and I am very grateful to him. Hopefully that will count in my favour.

"Whatever the decision I will accept it but I think there will be enough views presented to remove any doubt about my motives. I hope that sending-off will be deemed sufficient and it will be sorted out quickly."

The three-man panel who will rule on Grewcock's fate is to be chaired by Richard Moon and will include former England prop Jeff Probyn, a man who knows how it feels to be trapped under a pile of bodies, as Grewcock was when he lashed out.

That knowledge, in addition to Bracken's testimony, should work in Grewcock's favour, but he does have a history, having been sent off for use of the boot against the All Blacks in New Zealand four years ago. Factor in the eye witness report of touch judge Ashley Rowden and there are no guarantees that the giant Lions lock will be free to face mighty New Zealand at Twickenham on November 9, even if he is selected. And selection is far from certain, now Clive Woodward has said that he is ready to recall Martin Johnson as England captain.

But Grewcock certainly did not play like a man with the weight of the world on his mind as Bath ended their season-long try drought to snatch a draw against Wasps.

England star Mike Tindall scored their first try in six halves of rugby on the hour and when Dan Lyle crossed in stoppage time they looked to have won.

But Wasps fly-half Alex King refused to be beaten and when Joe Worsley apped back the restart, he tied the scores with a last-kick drop-goal.


DESPERATE DAN: Grewcock hopes to beat the rap; ALL CUT UP: Bracken has \to be treated after the clash
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 16, 2002
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