Stuart Hogg has categorically denied committing any act of foul play after the British & Irish Lions full-back was accused on social media of biting Willie Le Roux.
Footage of the alleged incident began circulating online shortly after the final whistle of a fiery second Test at Cape Town Stadium as the Springboks secured a 27-9 victory to send the series into a decisive third and final Test next Saturday.
Yet despite the inconclusive nature of the events as the opposing full-backs tussled as a melee broke out between the teams, Hogg appears to have been tried and found guilty in the court of social media, although it remains to be seen whether any official citings will arise from the match.
Australian Scott Nowland was the citing commissioner for the game on Saturday night and initially he had 12 hours from the final whistle to cite, although that was extended to 24 hours by World Rugby overnight, giving the official until around 7pm Irish time on Sunday to put forward any cases for an independent hearing to consider.
The Lions, however, issued a statement from Hogg on Sunday morning which read: “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.”