Stormers’ Adre Smith cited for alleged biting incident on Munster’s Niall Scannell

South African could face 12-week ban if found guilty at Thursday’s disciplinary hearing

The Stormers lock Adre Smith has been cited after allegations of foul play during his side's defeat in the United Rugby Championship last Saturday in Thomond Park, namely an alleged biting incident on Munster hooker Niall Scannell.

This follows an incident in the 45th minute of the match, and in the build-up to a try by Jean Kleyn, when Scannell and Smith could be seen tussling on the ground. After rising to his feet, Scannell turned to the assistant referee on that side of the pitch, said something and pointed to his left leg.

Both Scannell and the Munster captain Peter O'Mahony spoke with referee Andrew Brace, after which he asked for replays of the incident from his TMO Brian MacNeice, "because I've an accusation of a bite on red two."

Replays showed no conclusive evidence, with Brace informing O’Mahony: “If there’s anything clear the citing officer will deal with it.”


The citing commissioner at the match, Helen O’Reilly, has now made a complaint of an alleged act of foul play committed against Scannell and a disciplinary committee will meet this Thursday to consider the citing complaint against Smith.

A URC statement said: “The player has been cited under Law 9.12 - A player must not physically or verbally abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to, biting, punching, contact with the eye or eye area, striking with any part of the arm (including stiff-arm tackles), shoulder, head or knee(s), stamping, trampling, tripping or kicking.

“The player will face a disciplinary panel via videoconference, the panel will comprise of Sheriff Kathrine Mackie (Chair), Iain Leslie (both Scotland) and Janet Gedrych (Wales).”

If found guilty of biting, Smith could face a minimum of 12 weeks suspension, not taking into account mitigating factors, with the medium entry point at 18 weeks and high entry point set at 24 weeks.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times