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McGillvary turns tables on Farah

Saturday, November 11, 2017

England's Jermaine McGillvary labelled allegations of him biting Robbie Farah as outrageous, before being found not guilty by the Rugby League World Cup judiciary.

Farah did not attend the hearing or provide a written statement, and it took a panel just three minutes to clear McGillvary's name, leaving him free to play on Sunday against France.

It came after a fiery 70-minute hearing, during which judiciary members Barri-Jon Mather, Mal Cochrane and chairman Geoff Bellew were shown four replays of the alleged incident.

McGillvary turned the tables on Farah, accusing him of grappling and choking him as he fell to the ground early in the second half of England's 29-10 second-round win.

Appearing via video link from Perth, McGillvary argued Farah had pressed his forearm against his nose and mouth, forcing him to gasp for air. He then claimed Lebanon hooker Michael Lichaa had also pushed his head down in the tackle, eventually forcing his mouth onto Farah's forearm.

"I've played over 200 games. I've been high tackled but never grapple-tackled like this," McGillvary said.

"I've never felt so uncomfortable.

"It was pushing on my face very hard. I felt like I was about to choke. As I went to floor, it got worse.

"Not once did I shut my mouth. Not once when he put his arm into my mouth did I close my mouth."

Charged with contrary conduct, McGillvary would have been at the mercy of the panel had he been found guilty and almost certainly ruled out for the rest of the competition.

The tournament's prosecutor Peter McGrath argued that McGillvary took another dip at Farah's arm after it had been removed from his mouth and "nipped him".

But the Huddersfield winger again disagreed, and argued he was upset by the way the charge had hurt his reputation back home.

"It's outrageous. I've been a pro for 10 years and I've got an outstanding disciplinary record. I've never been charged with anything like this," McGillvary said.

"I'm not that sort of player. I've never bit someone and I never will be. I didn't bite him."

McGillvary's lawyer Nick Ghabar also tendered a report from England's chief medical officer Chris Brookes which claimed Farah's arm showed no signs of punctures from biting.

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