RugbyU: Australian Arnold banned for Currie Cup biting

Australian Rory Arnold was given a seven-match ban Wednesday for biting an opponent during a Currie Cup match last weekend.

The suspension rules the 2.08-metre lock out of the rest of the leading South African rugby competition this season unless minnows Griquas reach the final.

Debutant Arnold was red-carded 62 minutes into a 40-20 loss at Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last Saturday after an opponent claimed he had been bitten.

Hooker Ethienne Reynecke showed the referee bite marks on his arm, and the television match official said Arnold was the culprit.

Wagga Wagga-born Arnold, 23, pleaded not guilty of bitting in an incident that occurred as he scored a pushover try.

Judicial officer Peter Ingwersen found the initial reaction of Reynecke telling, as he instinctively complained to the assistant referee and the referee.

Arnold was found guilty "on the balance of probabilities, and relying particularly on the immediate and spontaneous reactions of the victim".

The 127-kilogram Australian played for New South Wales-Queensland Country against the touring British and Irish Lions this year.

Griquas, the Kimberley-based cinderella side of the six-team Currie Cup, hired him to solve an injury-induced lock crisis.

Reynecke was the second South African bitten recently with Argentina No.8 Leonardo Senatore getting a nine-week ban for biting Springbok Eben Etzebeth.