Six Nations officials: No evidence that George North was bitten

Referee Wayne Barnes saw the bite mark and referred the incident to the TMO

Wales’ George North complains about an alleged bite during Saturday’s game at the Stade de France. Photograph: PA

Wales’ George North complains about an alleged bite during Saturday’s game at the Stade de France. Photograph: PA

 

Six Nations officials have announced no clear evidence could be found that Wales wing George North was bitten by a France player during Saturday’s Six Nations clash in Paris.

Video footage proved inconclusive after match referee Wayne Barnes stopped the game amid 20 minutes of added time at Stade de France, which ended with the home side snatching victory with a late converted try.

No on-pitch action was taken, but match citing commissioner John Montgomery had until Monday evening to decide whether further measures were required.

However a statement from the Six Nations said there had been no substantive evidence produced that showed proof of any player biting North.

The tournament organisers announced: “The independent citing commissioner present at the France v Wales match on March 18th 2017 has carefully reviewed all relevant evidence regarding all relevant incidents, including the allegation that Wales winger, George North, was bitten in the latter stages of the match.

“Based on the information available to him in the case of the alleged bite (including footage of the incident from several angles), the citing commissioner has not been able to conclude that any particular individual carried out an act of foul play, and accordingly he has not made a citing complaint ahead of the ordinary deadline for doing so, ie within 48 hours after the conclusion of the match.

“While the relevant rules provide that in certain circumstances, for example where the citing commissioner is uncertain as to the identity of the player(s) concerned, he is permitted to make a citing complaint after the 48-hour deadline, Six Nations Rugby anticipates that this will be the end of the matter in terms of the alleged bite.”

World Rugby’s sanctions for biting start at a 12-week suspension for a low-end offence, rising to 24 weeks and above at the top end of the scale.

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