It's fair to say England, and in particular, Maro Itoje will want to forget about the 2018 Six Nations as quickly as possible.
Saturday's 22-16 defeat to France was a new low. Not only did it hand Ireland the title, the result has prompted subsequent questions about the performances of a number of players.
Eddie Jones was forced to leap to Itoje's defence last week, claiming the lock was merely suffering from second-season syndrome having enjoyed so much initial success in his career.
To be fair to the 23-year-old, his progress was interrupted by a broken jaw, which was fractured in two places in a match against Harlequins.
In the autumn internationals, he did not play as much of a role as he would have liked, so he'll be especially disappointed by the Red Rose's Six Nations campaign.
If the France defeat wasn't a bitter enough pill to swallow, the Saracens man has also claimed, as reported in the Times, that he was bitten by an opponent during a maul.
Itoje is then said to have turned to referee Jaco Peyper and said: “Sir, he is biting me.”
Incredibly, he still managed to win the turnover despite emerging from the play with teeth marks on his arm.
Why weren't France charged?
According to the same newspaper, none of Les Bleus' players have been cited due to insufficient evidence. The cameras were unable to capture what went on in the maul, which may have complicated matters further.
England's team lawyer, Richard Smith, QC, did raise the incident with the match's citing commissioner, Murray Whyte, yet no action has been taken.
Jones himself was aware of the complaint, but refused to discuss it afterwards.
“If there are any untoward activities in the game, whether the citing commissioner or one of the teams sees it, then it is up to him [Whyte] to deal with it,” Jones said, per the Guardian.
“We’ve got someone who looks at that for us and went to see the citing commissioner and he’ll deal with it. I am not here to talk about biting.”
What do you make of Itoje's claims? Have your say in the comments.
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