Rugby ace ‘fe­line’ bet­ter after lion’s bite be­fore game

Glamorgan Gazette - - News - DELME PARFITT delme.parfitt@waleson­

OSPREYS and Wales hooker Scott Bald­win has spo­ken about the ex­tra­or­di­nary rea­son he missed his re­gion’s match against the Chee­tahs in Bloem­fontain, South Africa, last Fri­day – a lion bite.

Bald­win, from Brid­gend, needed stitches to a wound on his hand after a team visit to Wel­tevre­den Game Lodge to sam­ple some of the wildlife in the run-up to the match. He put his hand through a fence to stroke the an­i­mal but it took ex­cep­tion and clamped its jaws down. Bald­win was quickly free but not be­fore cry­ing out in pain. It meant he was un­avail­able for the game, which the Ospreys lost 44-26, and his coach Steve Tandy de­scribed his ac­tions as “stupid”.

Bald­win took to his Twit­ter ac­count and in a se­ries of posts said: “Sorry all Ospreys fans for let­ting you and the team down by miss­ing the game through the bite! Should have known he wouldn’t be im­pressed with me stroking his li­on­ess be­fore in­tro­duc­ing my­self to him first.

“And for those ask­ing, my hand is on the mend thank­fully and should be up and run­ning soon enough. Thanks for your sup­port and con­cern.”

While the story has had many in the rugby fra­ter­nity chuck­ling even though it could have been much worse, coach Tandy was largely unim­pressed.

He said after the Ospreys’ de­feat: “When you put your hand into a fence and there’s a lion in there, you can ex­pect to get bit.

“He had plenty of warn­ing, so it’s pretty stupid. It’s noth­ing to do with where we were, it was a good en­vi­ron­ment, we’d been told how far back to stand. I don’t know what sort of wildlife pro­gramme Scott has been watch­ing, [that says you can] pat a lion as if it’s a kit­ten.”

Above, the shock­ing mo­ment Scott Bald­win was bit­ten by a lion dur­ing the Ospreys’ trip to Bloem­fontein and, left, the Wales hooker dur­ing train­ing

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