Video: Could these pictures land the toothy Dylan Hartley in trouble over Ferris bite?
Dylan Hartley attempted to bite off more than he could chew when he collided with Stephen Ferris at Twickenham on Saturday and he faces a lengthy ban as a result.
Ferris accused the hungry England hooker of biting his finger in a ruck during the first half of what turned out to be a miserable 30-9 defeat for Declan Kidney’s side and although Ferris was quite animated in his accusations of the Northampton forward, Nigel Owens couldn’t take action as he wasn’t in a position to see the incident at the time.
Having subsequently reviewed the incident, however, citing commissioner Alberto Recalbini confirmed that Hartley has a case to answer under IRB law 10.4 (m), which deals with acts contrary to good sportsmanship.
If found guilty, Hartley faces a ban of anything from 12 weeks (for low end offences), 18 weeks (mid range) or 24-plus weeks (high end), but a date for a disciplinary hearing has yet to be announced.
The English RFU confirmed Hartley’s citing in a statement released last night which read: “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.”
Ferris may be called in for questioning and video evidence of the incident will be studied to see if Hartley was in fact guilty of such a disgusting offence, an act that is on a par with eye gouging as one of the lowest things one can do to fellow rugby player on the pitch.
The incident occurs about ten seconds into the video above and although it is extremely difficult to make out what exactly happened with so many bodies lying around, Ferris’ anger is clear for all to see and it is also pretty clear that Nigel Owens believed that Hartley may indeed have been up to no good.
Hartley, of course, is no stranger to the dark arts having received a whopping 26-week suspension for eye gouging in 2007 and if he does cop a similar ban this time around he can really have no complaints.