England coaches suspended for switching ball

England have handed a one-match ban to coaches David Alred and Paul Stridgeon for switching balls used in Saturday's World Cup win over Romania without permission.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) released a statement today saying that both would be banned from Eden Park for Saturday's final Pool B match against Scotland.

Assistant coach Alred and fitness coach Stridgeon swapped balls that they thought unfit for use after conversions were kicked in the first half of the game England won 67-3 in Dunedin.

Tournament officials investigated the breach but said no further action was necessary and deemed the RFU punishment "appropriate", but warned of severe action for any further breaches.

"It's unfortunate that we have had to take this action but ultimately there was a breach of the laws of the game," England manager Martin Johnson said in a statement.

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