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England lock George Kruis cleared to play as biting charge is dismissed

Published 05/04/2016

England and Saracens second row George Kruis has been cleared of biting
England and Saracens second row George Kruis has been cleared of biting

England lock George Kruis has been cleared of biting after a citing described by Saracens forwards coach Alex Sanderson as an "absolute travesty" was dismissed.

Kruis faced a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel on Tuesday evening following an incident involving Bath prop David Wilson in last weekend's 30-10 Aviva Premiership victory at the Recreation Ground.

Following a marathon hearing in Bristol lasting nearly five hours, both Kruis and Wilson - who was also cited for making contact with the eye or eye area of the Saracens forward - were cleared.

Kruis faced a minimum 12-week ban if the citing was upheld, ruling him out of the summer tour to Australia, but the 26-year-old is free to play with immediate effect and will start Saracens' Champions Cup quarter-final against Northampton on Saturday.

Sanderson, however, is dismayed that one of the star performers of England's recent Grand Slam success was ever summoned before the port's judiciary.

"It was an absolute travesty that he was cited for something that obviously didn't happen," Sanderson said.

"I don't know the ins and outs of it, but David Wilson seemed pretty embarrassed about it afterwards....that he'd brought it to the attention of the referee.

"It might not have been, in his own words, a bite. He just felt something. George said he wasn't eye-gouged (by Wilson) and it didn't get him in his eyes."

Saracens saw wing Chris Ashton banned for 10 weeks for making contact with the eye area of Ulster centre Luke Marshall in January, a sanction that was widely viewed as harsh.

Sanderson believes the game's disciplinary process needs to regain a sense of perspective.

"It's so frustrating. Back in the day you'd literally shake hands because it was heat of the battle and you'd get on with it. No harm done," Sanderson said.

"But nowadays there are all the cameras and they've built up the citing officers to look after players, which is a good thing.

"But the power they have, the way they have to wield it and hold people accountable, sometimes make a public lynching of players.

"I think it's gone too far. That's my own personal opinion. It's over-stepped in the likes of Ashton. It's gone too far the other way, but they'll find a happy balance I'm sure."

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