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British & Irish Lions statement: Stuart Hogg

By Ian Cameron

Trending on RugbyPass

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British & Irish Lions fullback Stuart Hogg has ‘categorically’ denied that he bit Springbok fullback Willie Le Roux in yesterday’s 27 – 9 loss to the South Africa in Cape Town.

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After a sour lead-in week, the second Test was a tense affair that flared up on a number of occasions.

After the game, accusations were made on social media around an incident that happened during a scuffle in the aftermath of Cheslin Kolbe’s mid-air hit on Conor Murray. Hogg and opposite number Le Roux wrestled for a few moments and a number of stills and video footage then surfaced online that appeared to show the South African’s arm brush against Hogg’s mouth.

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Hogg has released the following statement in response to the allegations: “Following speculation that has surfaced online, I would like to categorically deny any foul play in last night’s game. 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.

“Respect to the Springboks for their deserved win yesterday. The squad is hurting after last night’s defeat, but it’s all to play for next week. It’s going to be a cup final and everyone’s going to be up for it.”

The Hogg incident was a number of off-the-ball incidents that were picked up by fans and pundits, with Lions’ second row Maro Itoje also shown appearing to kneel on South Africa centre Damian de Allende’s chest and neck area.

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Following the game Lions head coach Warren Gatland opened up about Rassie Erasmus’ online antics during the week which had lead to a unique build up to the second Test.

“I thought it (Erasmus’ video) was pretty interesting. I won’t be going on social media this week,” Gatland said. “I don’t really want to comment on that because I want other people to take care of it. The last thing we need is a war of words and being accused of doing certain things.

“It’s amazing to me how the narrative changed with regard to the TMO. I didn’t make one comment leading up to the game last weekend about the TMO yet I was accused of questioning his integrity.

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“That was the message they were sending out. We’ll keep things to ourselves and keep to the proper channels.

“We’ve got systems and process in place. Hopefully World Rugby looks at that to make sure everyone follows the protocols.

“We deal with the referees through World Rugby. That’s the process. I just hope it doesn’t get to the situation where we end up with things on Twitter and people airing their views in that way and not through the proper channels.

“I found it quite strange that that approach was taken. It’s definitely not something I’ll get involved with. It’s important that we keep up the integrity of the game as much as we can.”

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British & Irish Lions statement: Stuart Hogg

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