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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Cheetahs centre apologises to Connacht's Fainga’a after disgusting act of foul play

Nico Lee emptied the contents of his nose onto the Connacht flanker’s face during their recent Pro14 meeting.

Lee was also sin-binned for a high tackle in the game at the Sportsground.
Lee was also sin-binned for a high tackle in the game at the Sportsground.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Andy Friend has confirmed that Cheetahs centre Nico Lee has made contact to apologise directly to Colby Fainga’a following the ugly incident in the recent meeting between the sides.

Lee was charged with emptying the contents of his nose into the face of the Connacht back row during the Cheetahs’ 25-17 defeat to the western province in Galway earlier this month.

He was subsequently suspended for 13 weeks by a Pro14 disciplinary panel and Friend said Connacht had brought the incident to the attention of the league following the game. 

“The man (Fainga’a) has played over 100 Super Rugby caps. As he said to me, he said: ‘I have been eye-gouged, I have had fingers in my mouth, but that is the most disgusting thing that has ever happened to me,” Friend said this week.

“For Colby to hold his line on that, good on him.”

Friend insisted he wished the Cheetahs centre well in his future, that he was happy to draw a line under it and that he was proud of the way his player conducted himself in the incident.

“In fairness to their player he did ring Colby to apologise after the suspension which was handed down,” the coach added.

“I thought it [the ban] was harsh. He was decent enough to accept responsibility for that.

“He has done something that he knows was wrong. I wish him all the best, I really do.

“I just hope that it gets put behind him and he can go on and play rugby now.”

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Declan Rooney

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