Ospreys hooker Scott Baldwin missed Saturday’s game against the Cheetahs in South Africa following an unfortunate run-in with a lion at a game park.
In a video shared on Twitter by former England player Andy Goode, players can be seen in a game park in Bloemfontein meeting lions. As Baldwin pets one of the lions on the head, it suddenly bites his hand.
The front-rower can be heard yelping as the lion nips him, but staff remain calm, talking about his need to receive first aid.
Baldwin was visiting South Africa as part of the Guinness Pro14 league, which sees teams from Ireland, Scotland, Italy and South Africa competing throughout the season, when the incident occurred.
After the incident on Wednesday, Baldwin took to Twitter to apologise to his teammates and fans for missing the game due to the incident.
1/3 Sorry all Ospreys fans for letting you and the team down by missing the game through the bite!— scott baldwin (@scottbaldwin2) September 30, 2017
Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy clearly had little sympathy for his hooker, who was taken to hospital for stitches and treatment to prevent an infection.
At a press conference, he said: “There was an incident with a lion, but in fairness it was nothing to do with the lion. He did bite Scott but when you put your hand in a fence where there is a lion, then you will get bitten.
“It was pretty stupid on Scott’s behalf and he is pretty lucky. It was a good environment and we were told how far back to stand.
“I don’t know what sort of wildlife show Scott has been watching where you can pat a lion on the head as if it’s a kitten.”
Tandy also confirmed the injury was “not too serious” and that Baldwin would travel back with the team after the game.
3/3 and for those asking my hand in on the mend thankfully & should be up & running round soon enough thanks for your support & concern 🙏— scott baldwin (@scottbaldwin2) September 30, 2017
The Welsh side clearly missed their player, losing 44-25 to the Cheetahs.