Hartley cited over Ireland bite

Hartley cited over bite


It is understood that Hartley is alleged to have bitten the finger of Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris in the 23rd minute. The accusation was made to referee Nigel Owens in the 28th minute of England's 30-9 victory at Twickenham on Saturday.

Owens did not see the alleged incident but confirmed to the two captains, Chris Robshaw and Rory Best, that it would be looked into after the match.

The RFU said in the wake of the news: "The England management have been formally notified about the citing of Dylan Hartley and will not be making any comment until the resolution of the disciplinary hearing."

When Owens addressed Robshaw and Best he said: "I have an accusation of biting, a clear mark on the finger. I did not see something. If I do it will be dealt with severely, which would be a red card.

"It could be dealt with afterwards. If it is seen it will be dealt with. I did not see it.

"Have a word. Nothing like that takes place in this game. I can only deal with what I see. Have a word please.

"I have had a look. Unless I can see it, it's been dealt with, okay?"

As the two forward packs then set themselves for a scrum, Owens added: "This game is difficult enough without stuff like that, is that clear?"

Owens then approached Ferris while he was receiving treatment from the physio and said: "I have done all I can. It has been noted. If I don't see it I can't do nothing about it. It has been spoken about and dealt with."

Under International Rugby Board regulations, the lowest entry level suspension for biting is 12 weeks with the maximum being four years.

Hartley, who was England's most capped player on the pitch at Twickenham with 39 appearances, served a six-month ban in 2007 for eye gouging during a club match.

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