In Brief

Six Nations: Scotland’s Ryan Wilson cited for Nathan Hughes incident

No.8 Wilson allegedly made contact with the eye area of Hughes during the Calcutta Cup clash

Scotland No.8 Ryan Wilson has been cited for allegedly making contact with the eye area of Nathan Hughes during his side’s 25-13 Calcutta Cup victory on Saturday.

Television pictures showed Wilson’s fingers appear to rake the face of the England No.8 and tournament organisers released a short statement yesterday in which they said that the “alleged offence, contact with the eye area of an opponent [Law 9.12] took place in the 37th minute of the match”.

Wilson will answer the charges at a Six Nations disciplinary committee hearing tomorrow and it’s likely he will say in his defence that Hughes had a hand on his throat. If he is found guilty the minimum ban would be four weeks, with a 12-week sanction being at the top end of the punishment spectrum.

The Scotland forward is also at the centre of another incident arising from Saturday’s feisty encounter in Edinburgh – a scuffle with Owen Farrell before kick-off.

New footage taken on a mobile phone emerged yesterday that showed Farrell running after Wilson as the teams filed down the tunnel into the changing rooms after warming up. The Englishman grabbed the Scot by the shoulder before being restrained by Wilson’s team-mates.

According to The Independent, the RFU “have told the Six Nations that Farrell was not the instigator of the conflict and was provoked”. The Times claims that “Farrell’s defence is that he stepped in to assist George Ford, who was the target of verbal abuse by Wilson”. Farrell and Ford are good friends, having known each other from school days, and Farrell allegedly took exception to whatever was said to the England fly-half.

Once the Six Nations have received explanations from the English and Scottish unions as to what caused the flare-up they will decide whether to take the matter further or let it drop, putting it down to pre-match tension that momentarily flared out of hand.

Even if they did decide to pursue the matter, the powers-that-be can’t cite either player for the incident as it occurred before the game. So Farrell won’t be prevented from playing for England against France on Saturday week, but perhaps the incident will subconsciously influence the Six Nations disciplinary committee when Wilson appears before them tomorrow.

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