White denies Ospreys’ claims

2005 Lion Julian White will face an anxious wait to see if he is cited after he was accused of eye gouging following Leicester's defeat to the Ospreys on Saturday afternoon. [more]

White denies Ospreys’ claims

2005 Lion Julian White will face an anxious wait to see if he is cited after he was accused of eye gouging following Leicester’s defeat to the Ospreys on Saturday afternoon.

The 35-year-old toured New Zealand with the Lions four years ago, featuring in all three Tests against the All Blacks, but any ban for such a high-end offence could rule him out of contention for the summer tour of South Africa.

The Ospreys claimed that two of their players (thought to be prop Paul James and hooker Richard Hibbard), had visible marks around their eyes, with coach Jonathan Humphreys publicly naming White as the transgressor. 

“We’ve got a couple of players in our changing room with marks around the eyes,” said former Welsh skipper Humphreys.
“There were a couple of incidents at Welford Road (during the October clash) with Julian, but we didn’t go down the citing line.

“It is disappointing it happens, and disappointing it happens with the same guy. It seems to be becoming part of the game, and there are a few guys in there who are upset with Julian.”

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Leicester, who topped Pool 3 and will now host Bath in the Heineken Cup quarter finals, responded by issuing a statement denying any wrong-doing by White.

"Leicester are aware that an allegation of serious foul play has been made against one of their players," said the statement.

“The player denies any knowledge of wrong-doing and the club will study match footage and, if appropriate, conduct its own investigations into the allegations,” said the statement.

“In the meantime, the citing commissioner will decide if any players should face disciplinary charges.”

White, who missed the 2007 World Cup because of farming and family commitments, was recalled to the England Elite Playing Squad last week after the withdrawal of Matt Stevens.

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