Monday 19 March 2018

English await call on 'bite' claim

AN English player could be facing a very hefty ban if the citing commissioner decides to act on Stephen Ferris's allegation that he was bitten during Saturday's Six Nations clash at Twickenham.

The entry level punishment is a 12-week suspension growing all the way to a four-year maximum term. The minimum would end this season for the individual, if he is cited and found guilty.

"Anyone who does that in the game should be out for a long, long time. If they've got form for being out for doing other naughty things, they should be out for a long, long, long, long time," said former Leinster and Scotland coach Matt Williams.

Welsh referee Nigel Owens had his hands tied by not seeing the incident, telling Ferris "if I don't see it, I can do nothing about it".

The citing commissioner Alberto Recalbini, an Italian, has until 6.30pm this evening to consider the evidence at his disposal and bring a charge of 'biting' against the player.

For sure, in the 28th minute, Gordon D'Arcy carried the ball back against the grain of the English defence. He was tackled and the next man in assumed the poach position.

As Ferris tries to roll this forward out of the ruck there is clear motioning from the Ulsterman that something is going on. At the next break in play Ferris informed the referee that he had been bitten.

England captain Chris Robshaw took a wait-and-see approach. "At the moment it is innocent until proven guilty, so to speak," he said.

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