Kyle Sinckler cited for 'biting' in Lions' defeat to South Africa

Kyle Sinckler cited for ‘biting’ Franco Mostert in Lions’ second Test defeat to South Africa with surprisingly no other players under investigation after a volatile encounter in Cape Town

  • Kyle Sinckler has been cited for biting South Africa’s Franco Mostert
  • Stuart Hogg denied claims that he bit Willie le Roux during the Lions’ defeat
  • Surprisingly, Sinckler was the only player to be cited after a volatile encounter
  • Cheslin Kolbe and Faf de Klerk were not investigated after high challenges 

Kyle Sinckler has been cited for biting South Africa lock Franco Mostert in the second Test, but remarkably no other players face disciplinary proceedings.

The Lions prop will appear before a judicial panel via video link on Tuesday to answer a charge relating to an incident in the 64th minute of the match at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, which the tourists lost 27-9. 

Mostert emerged from a ruck, looked at his arm and informed referee Ben O’Keeffe that he believed he had been bitten. Sinckler will be hit with a minimum 12-week ban if the citing is upheld.

Kyle Sinckler has been cited for ‘biting’ South Africa’s Franco Mostert during the second Test

Surprisingly he was the only player to be cited after what was a volatile encounter on Saturday

However, there has been widespread disbelief after World Rugby announced that Sinckler was the only player on either side to have been cited by Australian match commissioner Scott Nowland, following a volatile encounter. 

The Lions will surely wonder how Cheslin Kolbe can avoid further sanctions for taking out Conor Murray dangerously in the air and how Faf de Klerk will not be investigated for what appeared to be a high tackle, also on Murray.

The Springboks’ management angrily demanded a red card when Maro Itoje could be seen kneeling on the throat of Damian de Allende, but the Saracens and England lock has not been cited. And Stuart Hogg faced a trial by social media over allegations that he had bitten Willie le Roux, but he is also in the clear.

The Scotland captain on Sunday denied the claims against him. Still images and video footage showed Hogg’s face apparently in contact with the arm of Le Roux, who reportedly suggested to the officials that he had been bitten. 

South African media were quick to seize upon what was perceived to be evidence of a heinous offence, but Hogg spoke out to clear his name.

In a statement from the Lions, he said: ‘Following speculation that has surfaced online, I would like to categorically deny any foul play. 

Stuart Hogg has played down speculation he bit the arm of Willie le Roux during the game

Cheslin Kolbe was shown a yellow card for taking out Conor Murray in mid-air

‘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.’ 

That spirit of the game has been tarnished of late by Rassie Erasmus and the latest indications are that South Africa’s out-spoken director of rugby will, eventually, face punishment for casting doubt on the integrity of match officials.

Meanwhile, there was an unexpected boost for South Africa when it was confirmed that – ahead of schedule – Duane Vermeulen has rejoined the Bok squad after recovering from surgery on a serious ankle injury. 

The 35-year-old Bulls No 8, who was Man of the Match in the World Cup Final triumph over England in 2019, is not certain to be available on Saturday, but he is suddenly back in contention, which spells potential trouble for the Lions.

The hosts have sorely missed the long-time stalwart of their pack and head coach Jacques Nienaber said: ‘Duane will be medically assessed as soon as possible. We will never risk a player who is not 100 per cent fit but he brings experience to the squad and it will be great to have him with us.’

Faf de Klerk (right) also won’t be investigated for his high challenge on Murray on Saturday

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