Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

RFU rules out action over 'bite'

Tom Youngs complained he had been bitten on the hand against Northampton

Dylan Hartley will face no disciplinary action following a claim from Leicester hooker Tom Youngs that he was bitten by an opponent in Saturday's 22-16 Aviva Premiership victory over Northampton.

The Rugby Football Union confirmed on Sunday that citing officer Andy Blyth reviewed the match footage and opted against taking any action.

Youngs appeared to suggest England team-mate Hartley was responsible for the alleged bite and Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder later stated he would speak to his club captain.

The lack of evidence to support Youngs' claim and absence of any complaint from Leicester have led to Blyth's decision.

"The incident has been reviewed and no action will be taken against Dylan Hartley," an RFU spokesperson said.

Referee Wayne Barnes referred the 15th-minute incident to television match official Trevor Fisher after hearing an unnamed player's allegation on the pitch.

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill confirmed Youngs' claim that he had been bitten but stopped short of identifying a culprit.

"Tom said that he was bitten on the hand by someone he didn't elaborate on," Cockerill said.

"The referee referred it to the TMO, and looked at it and there was clearly nothing to look at. Maybe Tom was mistaken. It will be looked at by the relevant people."

It was unclear on Saturday whether Mallinder intended speaking to Hartley because of his role as club captain or because he was under any suspicion.

"I don't think there was anything in it. I would be very surprised," Mallinder said.

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