England winger Jermaine McGillvary could be banned for up to 12 weeks if he is found guilty of biting.
The Huddersfield player is facing a charge of contrary conduct following the allegation brought by Lebanon captain Robbie Farah during Saturday’s World Cup game in Sydney and will face a disciplinary hearing via video link on Wednesday.
The incident was placed on report by referee Ben Thaler after Farah complained that he had been bitten on the arm in the second minute of England’s 29-10 win at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Recent NRL history shows any player found guilty of biting can expect a suspension of between eight and 12 weeks.
McGillvary’s England team-mate James Graham was banned for 12 weeks after being found guilty of biting the ear of Australia full-back Billy Slater during Canterbury Bulldogs’ 2012 NRL Grand Final loss to Melbourne.
But England, who flew into Perth on Sunday to set up camp ahead of their final group game against France, are sure to fight the charge.
McGillvary was seen mouthing to Super League referee Thaler as soon as Farah made his complaint, “you know I’m not that kind of person”.
Coach Wayne Bennett will be desperate to retain the services of McGillvary, who has been one of the leading lights in their campaign so far.
One of only two specialist wingers in Bennett’s 24-man squad, he was given the players’ man of the match after scoring England’s only points in the 18-4 defeat by Australia in Melbourne and got another try against Lebanon to take his total to seven in eight appearances.
It is the second biting allegation of the World Cup. Wales prop Ben Evans made the accusation against Papua New Guinea’s Wellington Albert during the first weekend but the case was not proven.
The RLWC2017 match review panel, which consists of chairman Michael Buettner and panellists Ben Ross and Michael Hodgson, met in Sydney on Monday morning to view the incident and announced the charge.
The hearing will be heard at 6pm local time on Wednesday via a video link to NRL headquarters in Moore Park, Sydney.
Cases are heard by a three-man panel, chaired by either the Honorable Justice Geoff Bellew or his deputy, magistrate Robert Abood, and two members from a list that includes former Great Britain international Barrie-Jon Mather and ex-Super League players Tony Puletua and Bob Lindner.
Any ban will be served in the tournament and can be carried over into the player’s domestic competition.