With the kind of glower that should have been accompanied with at least a yellow warning from the hard-pressed folk at the Met Office, Dave Rennie’s stern rictus illustrated just what he thought of the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) governing body.

The focus of Rennie’s ire, of course, was the fine handed to embattled Saracens at the weekend for a breach of the rules concerning players’ eligibility which had stoked up hopes that Glasgow Warriors could be handed a Champions Cup reprieve.

A hearing had been called after Saracens themselves reported that their own player, Titi Lamositele, had been ineligible to play against Racing 92 after his work permit expired.

Had the disciplinarypanel ruled result of that match null and void, Rennie’s Warriors would have snaked into the last eight of the tournament through the back door.

The National:

Instead, EPCR fined the reigning European champions around £42,000 and Glasgow’s hopes were dashed.

Several years ago, French club Grenoble were heavily punished for fielding an ineligible player against London Welsh in a European Challenge Cup game.

Having won the initial encounter, however, Grenoble were deducted four points and London Welsh were awarded a 28-0 win as the situation unravelled.

While heated words out of the Racing 92 camp over the last few days has included withering phrases like “grotesque”, “cheated” and “bias”, Rennie bit his tongue but there was no hiding his disgust at the decision by EPCR.

“Whether it is intentional or not, they have played an ineligible player and there is a precedent set in the past in Europe where teams have been docked points for playing an ineligible player,” said Rennie, whose side is back on Guinness PRO14 duty this weekend when they take on Zebre.

The National:

“In the end, what you permit, you promote and what the EPCR are saying here is it is ok to play an ineligible player as long as you are prepared to pay a fine.

“It’s disappointing from our point of view.”

In a season mired in controversy, Saracens have already been fined over £5m and relegated from England’s top flight as a consequence of breaching salary cap rules.

Rennie added: “I would hope EPCR would review this. Other clubs have been docked points so why is this situation different?

“Saracens have been in the news a fair bit and have been hammered a few times and now they are going soft on them?

“I don’t understand the reasoning for not docking points.

“Racing have made a few comments as well about not being happy at that game and being denied a potential home quarter final.

“I would like a bit more clarity on how they came up with the fine based on what they have done previously.

“We are assuming they [Saracens] had no idea his [Lamositele’s] visa had ran out.

“He is ineligible to play and they played him. The rules are the rules and it is black and white, there’s no grey here.

“You have X number of players who you register. It is pretty clear. I have no sympathy.”