Northampton Saints 16-22 Leicester Tigers
RFU rules out action over bite
ESPN Staff
March 30, 2014
Wayne Barnes talks to captains Dylan Hartley and Ed Slater as Tom Youngs looks on after the biting incident © Getty Images

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 Premiership victory over Northampton.

The RFU said 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.

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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