Wales coach Rob Howley accuses France of 'undermining game's integrity'

Cheryl Sanders
March 20, 2017

The nerve-jangling finale, which resulted in a delayed start to Ireland's encounter with England, saw France finally get over the line Lopez' conversion ensured that regardless of the outcome at the Aviva Stadium, Ireland will be among the top seeds.

France's team doctor said Uini Atonio needed to go off for a head injury assessment, meaning Rabah Slimani came back on for the final few minutes.

When made aware of the claims in the post-match press conference, France head coach Guy Noves was quick to insist he had no knowledge of foul play before biting his own hand and declaring: "I can bite myself and I'll have a bite mark".

North approached English referee Wayne Barnes to complain he had been bitten on his right upper arm. He aroused further suspicion by saying he believed North may have bitten himself.

But France, whose gameplan thrived around their monster pack, pressed and had a series of scrums on the Welsh line, Chouly eventually bundled over from close range and Lopez earning the hard-fought win to buck a five-match losing streak to Wales. The suspected incident was reviewed on the screen. He will take that time to make those decisions.

'We are looking into the matter and will issue a statement in due course once our findings are complete'. It's here where World Rugby need to clear up the ruling on time management by the officials, otherwise similar instances can and will occur. The rules of rugby state that you can not substitute a replacement, unless that player is not fit to continue.

"I can bite myself", was Noves' glib reply.

France players celebrate scoring a late try.

France ramped up the pressure after the break, but had no points to show for it and Halfpenny expertly slotted over a penalty just in from the right touchline to put Wales in front for the first time at 12-9.

Flanker Justin Tipuric added: 'George came into the dressing room and you could see a big bite mark on his arm'.

Earlier today, Scotland ended their Six Nations with a 29-0 romp over Conor O'Shea's Italy. Failure to come second, which was within their grasp before kick-off, cost Howley's men £1.5million. Jones has been mentioned as a possible captain of Warren Gatland's touring party. Should he be fit, the 31-year-old would be an automatic choice to be one of the squad's locks, but his injury could yet cause Gatland a headache. The influential Jones was hurt hitting a ruck in the second half at the Stade de France. Initially he played on before being replaced by Luke Charteris in the 51st minute.

The Six Nations will take a very dim view and Maestri should expect, at the very least, a fine.

-Les Bleus' scored two tries in this game, the same amount as they'd scored in their previous five games against Wales. 'In my mind there are probably half a dozen people in contention'.

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