George North's bite allegation dismissed after no clear evidence found during France vs Wales Six Nations clash

Jack de Menezes
The Independent
George North complained to Wayne Barnes that he had been bitten by a French player: PA
George North complained to Wayne Barnes that he had been bitten by a French player: PA

Six Nations officials have confirmed that no action will be taken over George North’s allegation that he was bitten by a French player during Wales’s controversial 20-18 defeat in Paris last Saturday after no clear evidence was found of the incident.

North complained to referee Wayne Barnes that he had allegedly been bitten during Saturday match during the frantic 20 additional minutes that followed the 80 minute mark when the match was due to finish. France managed to win the game – and secure third place in the table – with a try in the 100th minute that Camille Lopez converted to clinch a slender victory, but North’s allegation overshadowed the match along with the confusing scenes during the additional time.

North’s complaint stemmed from his tackle on France full-back Brice Dulin, with his teammates Yoann Huget and Noa Nakaitaci also entering the breakdown before play was stopped for a separate penalty. However, North immediately complained to the touchjudge, before speaking to referee Barnes about the incident.

The English referee asked the Television Match Official, Peter Fitzgibbon, to review the incident as there was a clear bite mark on North’s arm, but replays did not show any clear evidence and the match continued without any action being taken, and after being reviewed by the match citing commissioner, John Montgomery, he elected that there was no evidence that proved further action as necessary.

"The independent citing commissioner present at the France v Wales match on 18 March 2017 has carefully reviewed all relevant evidence regarding all relevant incidents, including the allegation that Wales winger, George North, was bitten in the latter stages of the match.

"Based on the information available to him in the case of the alleged bite (including footage of the incident from several angles), the citing commissioner has not been able to conclude that any particular individual carried out an act of foul play, and accordingly he has not made a citing complaint ahead of the ordinary deadline for doing so, ie within 48 hours after the conclusion of the match.

"While the relevant rules provide that in certain circumstances, for example where the citing commissioner is uncertain as to the identity of the player(s) concerned, he is permitted to make a citing complaint after the 48-hour deadline, Six Nations Rugby anticipates that this will be the end of the matter in terms of the alleged bite."

What to Read Next