Friday September 24, 2021

Lions’ Hogg denies biting S Africa’s Willie Le Roux

August 02, 2021

LONDON: British and Irish Lions full-back Stuart Hogg denies biting Willie Le Roux in Saturday’s 27-9 defeat by South Africa.

Hogg’s head made contact with the left arm of Le Roux when tempers flared in the second half of a fractious second Test at Cape Town Stadium.

Footage and stills of the incident have been circulated on social media, but the Scotland captain rejects claims that he bit his opposite number.

“Following speculation that has surfaced online, I would like to categorically deny any foul play in last night’s game,” Hogg said in a statement released by the Lions. “I would never bite an opponent and I am annoyed and upset by this unsubstantiated accusation. I’ve always been proud of playing rugby in the spirit of the game.

“Respect to the Springboks for their deserved win yesterday. The squad is hurting after last night’s defeat, but it’s all to play for next week. It’s going to be a cup final and everyone’s going to be up for it.”

Biting is treated severely by rugby’s judiciary and carries a low-end punishment of a 12-week ban, rising to in excess of 24 weeks for serious offences. The maximum length of suspension is 208 weeks.

It is considered alongside testicle grabbing and eye-gouging in the length of sanction, with only physical abuse or threatening words or actions towards match officials considered graver offences.

A clip of Maro Itoje resting his knee on the throat area of Damian De Allende has also been widely viewed on social media.