‘SORRY FOR LETTING YOU DOWN’
Wales star Baldwin’s apology to fans after getting bitten by a lion
THIS is the moment a lion clamped its jaws around Wales hooker Scott Baldwin’s hand. The Ospreys star was forced to miss his region’s Guinness PRO14 clash against the Cheetahs in South Africa on Friday after being injured in the incident.
Baldwin missed the game in Bloemfontein and needed stitches to a wound on his hand after a team visit to Weltevreden Game Lodge to see 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 on the Wales No 2’s outstretched hand, using a paw as leverage.
Baldwin was quickly free but not before crying out in pain.
It meant he was unavailable for the game, which the Ospreys lost 44-25, and his coach Steve Tandy described his actions as “stupid”.
Now Baldwin has taken to his Twitter account and, in a series of three 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: “There was an incident with a lion, it’s nothing to do with the lion in all fairness to it but he did bite Scott.
“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 on Scott’s behalf. He’s pretty lucky.
“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.
“It’s probably one of the silliest things I’ve ever been involved in but thankfully he’s OK and hopefully he’ll be back up and running in the next couple of weeks.
“It’s not too serious, he’s had it cleaned out and had a couple of stitches.”
Ospreys prop Paul James enjoying a close encounter with a lion cub
Rhys Webb getting licked by a cub
James Hook having a cuddle
The shocking moment Wales hooker Scott Baldwin was bitten by a lion during the Ospreys’ trip to Bloemfontein
Keelan Giles’ new furry friend