Former Wales captain and broadcaster Eddie Butler has died at the age of 65.

Butler played 16 times for Wales between 1980 and 1984 and skippered the side multiple times.

The number eight was also part of the British and Irish Lions squad that toured New Zealand in 1983, before later making a successful move into broadcasting.

Butler had been taking part in a fundraising hike for Prostate Cymru in Peru alongside his daughter Nell when he passed away in his sleep on Thursday.

Confirming the news in a statement on social media, the charity said: "The Prostate Cymru charity is devastated by the passing of its much-loved ambassador Eddie Butler.

"Ed was the voice of Wales and we were honoured to have him as part of our charity. We will cherish the many memories we have of him.

"Over the last week, Ed once again showed his generosity and steadfast commitment to good causes by joining 25 Prostate Cymru fundraisers, including his daughter Nell, on the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu.

"In the early hours of Thursday 15 September, Ed passed away peacefully in his sleep at Ecoinka base camp in the Peruvian Andes."

Butler leaves behind his wife Susan and six children.

Wales great and former British and Irish Lions captain Phil Bennett has died aged 73.

Bennett is widely regarded as one of the best fly-halves to ever play for Wales, making 29 appearances for his country and helping them to two Five Nations grand slams and three triple crowns.

He was also an integral figure on the unbeaten British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 1974, while he enjoyed 20 outings with the Barbarians.

Bennett, who was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2005, was also just the second Welshman to captain the Lions on their 1977 visit to New Zealand.

Former club Scarlets confirmed the passing of their president on Sunday, with executive chairman Simon Muderack saying: "As a club, region and community, we are devastated by this news.

"Wherever the Scarlets travel around the world, people mention the name Phil Bennett. He was an icon of our sport, a rugby superstar, but someone who always remembered his roots.

"There was no finer ambassador of Scarlets Rugby than Phil, a player respected across the rugby world, both during his career and long after he finished playing.

"Phil was a hero and friend to so many people, not only in Llanelli and west Wales, but throughout the game and I am sure a lot of Scarlets supporters will have their own particular stories of the times they met and chatted to 'Benny'. He loved the club and epitomised the values we hold true – humility and pride in our community.

"On behalf of everyone at the Scarlets, we send our heartfelt condolences to Pat, Steven, James and all of Phil's family and friends at this incredibly sad time."

Former England international and British and Irish Lion Tom Youngs has announced his retirement from rugby.

The hooker had not appeared for Leicester Tigers this season after taking an indefinite period of leave at the start of the campaign to care for his ill wife.

Now, Youngs – the brother of Ben, England's most capped player, and the son of Nick, another ex-international – is calling time on his career.

The 35-year-old appeared 28 times for his country and in three Lions Tests during the 2013 tour of Australia.

"I had always planned around this season being my last and I am comfortable with the timing of it now," Youngs said.

He added: "I want to thank my family for all that they have done to help me achieve what I have been able to do throughout my career.

"My mum, my dad, my brother and all of my extended family, I am so lucky to have them.

"Finally, to my wife Tiff and daughter Maisie, I am lucky to have you alongside me and would not be where I am without you. Thank you both."

Former Scotland captain and British and Irish Lion Tom Smith has died at the age of 50.

Smith was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer in 2019 and sadly passed away on Wednesday.

Capped 61 times by his country, the inspirational ex-prop was inducted into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame last year.

Smith played a big part in the 1997 Lions series win in South Africa and toured Australia four years later, becoming the only Scottish player to have played in six consecutive Lions Tests.

Ian McGeechan, who coached Smith along with Jim Telfer in the Lions win over the Springboks, described him as "the greatest Scotland player of the professional era."

Smith played his club rugby for Glasgow Caledonia – now Glasgow Warriors – and Brive before joining Northampton Saints in 2001.

Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby have withdrawn their intention to appeal against sanctions imposed and have apologised to match officials for misconduct during the British and Irish Lions series.

South Africa director of rugby Erasmus was last week banned from all rugby activities for two months and suspended from matchday activities until September 30 next year.

Erasmus was in hot water after he accused the Lions of "reckless and dangerous" play in their 22-17 win in the first Test in July and hit out at the standard of refereeing from Nic Berry.

The World Cup-winning coach also made the claims in a 62-minute video clip posted on social media as he highlighted what he felt were a number of calls that went against the world champions.

Erasmus also retweeted clips from an anonymous Twitter user, alleged to be one of his own accounts, highlighting "questionable calls".

World Rugby last week revealed that an independent misconduct committee found the 49-year-old was guilty of all six charges that were brought against him.

The 49-year-old was also warned about his future conduct and told to issue an apology to the relevant match officials, while a fine of £20,000 was issued to SA Rugby along with a warning over the governing body's conduct going forward.

Both Erasmus and SA Rugby stated they would exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts, but both parties have now decided against challenging the sanctions.

A statement released by SA Rugby on Thursday said: "SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus wish to apologise to the match officials appointed to the first Test of the Springboks' Series against the British and Irish Lions.

"We also confirm that SA Rugby and Erasmus have advised World Rugby that they withdraw their Notice of Appeal and will not lodge an appeal against the sanctions imposed by the Judicial Committee.

"This has been a highly stressful and charged environment with unusual pressures placed on all concerned and we have no wish to prolong that experience for anyone.

"We have drawn a line under the incident and only wish to look forward. We will respect the outcomes of the hearing, allowing our national teams and rugby operations to plan with clarity for the coming months."

A World Rugby statement said: "World Rugby welcomes the public apology from SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus to the match officials involved in the first test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions this year and the matter is closed."

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been banned from all rugby activities for two months for his conduct towards match officials during a series win over the British and Irish Lions.

Erasmus, head coach of the Springboks for their 2019 World Cup triumph, has also been suspended from all matchday activities with immediate effect until September 30 next year.

World Rugby on Wednesday revealed that an independent misconduct committee found the 49-year-old was guilty of all six charges that were brought against him.

Erasmus accused the Lions of "reckless and dangerous" play in their 22-17 win in the first Test in July and hit out at the standard of refereeing from Nic Berry.

He also made the claims in a 62-minute clip posted on social media as he highlighted what he felt were a number of calls that went against the world champions.

Erasmus also retweeted clips from an anonymous Twitter user, alleged to be one of his own accounts, highlighting "questionable calls".

In summary, World Rugby revealed he had been guilty of threatening a match official that unless a requested meeting took place, he would publish footage containing clips criticising the match official's performance and then making good on that threat; published or permitted to be published the video containing numerous comments that were either abusive, insulting and/or offensive to match officials.

He was also found to have attacked, disparaged and/or denigrated the game and the match officials; did not accept or observe the authority and decisions of match officials; published or caused to be published criticism of the manner in which a match official handled a match.

The committee also deemed Erasmus to have engaged in conduct or activity that may impair public confidence in the integrity and good character of match official(s); and brought the game into disrepute when he published or caused to be published the 'Erasmus Video'.

Erasmus was warned about his future conduct and told to issue an apology to the relevant match officials.

SA Rugby were also charged with not ensuring Erasmus complied with the World Rugby Code of Conduct and/or permitted him to commit acts of misconduct; and/or did not publicly correct any comments or publications by or on behalf of the director of rugby that amounted to misconduct.

A fine of £20,000 was issued to SA Rugby along with a warning as to future conduct. The organisation was told there must be an apology to the relevant match officials.

SA Rugby issued a joint statement along with Erasmus confirming both parties will exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts.

Warren Gatland says the British and Irish Lions gave it everything but came up just short in their agonising Test series defeat to South Africa.

The Lions suffered last-minute heartbreak in Cape Town as Morne Steyn's penalty secured a 19-16 win for the Springboks, who take the series by a 2-1 scoreline having lost the opening match.

Gatland's side had taken early control of the decider, Ken Owens' try helping them claim a 10-3 lead before half-time.

However, the Lions were made to rue missed opportunities as the reigning world champions fought back, with veteran fly-half Steyn coming off the bench to land the knockout blow – just as he had done in the 2009 series between the same teams.

Nevertheless, Gatland was unable to fault the efforts of his players.

"I'm disappointed, but really proud of the guys," Gatland told Sky Sports. "We spoke beforehand about winning these Test matches being about big moments.

"We had a two-on-one when maybe Josh Adams should have scored and a couple of times we were held up across the line. 

"I thought we were bold in terms of the tactics and what we wanted to do and tried to play rugby.

"We had a couple of calls which didn't go our way and bounces of the ball, particularly the try they scored, but I'm really proud of the effort. 

"I can't ask the guys more than the guys giving 100 per cent and they definitely did that."

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi hailed team-mate Morne Steyn after his late penalty sealed a series victory for the Springboks over the British and Irish Lions.

Steyn came off the bench and proved the difference in Cape Town – his last-gasp kick securing a 19-16 win.

It was a first Test appearance in five years for the 37-year-old fly-half, who also landed the crucial blow in the 2009 series against the Lions.

The Lions were unbeaten in the final Test in each of their last three tours, but in a tightly contested tussle the Springboks produced a turnaround from 10-3 down to snatch a dramatic victory.

"As soon as he went for the kick, I thought 'no way!' It was beautiful to see him stay strong," Kolisi told Sky Sports.

"We didn't think he would come back and play. In his wildest dreams, he didn't think he'd get this opportunity again, so I'm very happy for him and the team.

"It was really challenging for both teams because there was a lot happening. But we focused as much as we could on what we had to do on the field, and that was most important.

"This is huge, 12 years – I will never get this opportunity again. I'm really honoured and proud of the team that we were able to achieve this. We can't compare it to anything else."

It was a heart-breaking end for the Lions and Alun Wyn Jones, who joined Mike Gibson and Graham Price as the fourth most-capped player in their history with 12.

Nevertheless, the skipper – who initially seemed set to miss the tour due to injury – revealed his sense of pride in the efforts of Warren Gatland's side.

"We are hugely disappointed – we were in it until the death. We had an opportunity at the end," he said.

"I am very proud of the boys and very conscious of who we represent but as I said, hugely disappointed at the same time.

"We wanted to come out for the second half with more of the same, we did that probably after the early exchanges, then the to-ing and fro-ing with the penalties broke up the game.

"It was probably similar to what we have seen in patches in previous games, we wanted to kick on but we could not do that."

Morne Steyn was the hero for South Africa as, just like in 2009, his penalty proved decisive in a 19-16 series-clinching win over the British and Irish Lions.

Steyn had last made a Test appearance for the Springboks back in 2016 but the 37-year-old came on from the bench to prove the difference in Cape Town.

Having replaced Handre Pollard, whose kicking was off in the second half, Steyn converted two penalties to secure a hard-fought victory from a tense tussle.

After Steyn's first effort, Finn Russell's penalty seemed to have sent the series to a draw, only for Steyn’s boot to once again prove the Lions' downfall with a 79th-minute three-pointer.

The Lions seemed to have been handed an early blow when Dan Biggar was forced off injured after attempting to tackle Lukhanyo Am, wth Pollard converting South Africa's resulting penalty.

However, Biggar's replacement Russell kicked a penalty five minutes after his introduction to restore parity as he asserted himself on proceedings.

Russell was kicking again soon after, this time adding the extras after Ken Owens marked his maiden Lions Test start by bundling over at the back of the maul for the first try.

A second Pollard penalty reduced the deficit, while Russell had a fortunate escape when he made direct contact with Cheslin Kolbe's head, a slip from the South Africa winger helping the Lions remain at full strength.

Pollard's penalty dropped just short, yet the Springboks finally found the breakthrough moments later, Kolbe holding off Luke Cowan-Dickie's challenge to race over in the corner after a loose ball had broken in South Africa's favour – the try standing after a long TMO review for a possible knock-on from Jasper Wiese.

An Ali Price error handed South Africa a chance to extend their lead, though the Lions held firm and Russell kept his cool at the other end to arrow a three-pointer through the posts after Eben Etzebeth's mistake.

Steyn, South Africa's hero in the 2009 series, entered the fray with 16 minutes remaining, and his first act was to nose the hosts back ahead.

Am's foul on Conor Murray handed Russell the chance to level the scores, an opportunity which the Scot took coolly, but it was Steyn who had the final say.

Herschel Jantjies tried to run the ball after the Boks were awarded a penalty 40 metres out, though fortunately the referee called it back, with Steyn holding his nerve to down the Lions.


OLD NEMESIS STEYN BACK TO HAUNT THE LIONS

Steyn kicked the penalty which settled the 2009 Lions tour in South Africa's favour, and history repeated itself on Saturday.

His 67th Test cap will last long in the memory for South Africa – two penalty opportunities, two successful attempts and a series win. He made four kicks in total in his 18 minutes on the field, including the final one out of play to signal full time and the end of the series. 

South Africa's triumph also means all three matches in this year's Test series were won by the side trailing at half-time.

RUSSELL'S EFFORTS NOT ENOUGH

Like his fellow substitute Steyn, Russell ended the match with a perfect record from the boot – all three of his penalties and his conversion finding the target as he collected 11 points.

It was all in vain, however, and Warren Gatland will be left to lament the indiscipline his team showed in the second half after getting themselves into a strong position. Six Lions tours have gone to a deciding game since they became three-Test series in 1989, with the tourists losing on three occasions, winning twice and drawing once.

The British and Irish Lions lock horns with South Africa once more in Saturday's decider, with the Test series on the line at 1-1 as it boils down to the final game.

The Lions battled to a 22-17 opening victory but will now have to lick their wounds and respond to the heavy 27-9 defeat that the Springboks inflicted in Cape Town last Saturday.

While Warren Gatland's men eye a first series win on South African soil since 1997 in the winner-takes-all showdown, the Boks are also aiming to piece together consecutive series successes over the tourists for the first time since 1962-1968.

Each of Gatland's three Lions series have gone to the wire, though it will be a tough task to bounce back from South Africa's comeback victory last time out.

Having suffered an 18-point loss, the Lions head coach has made a host of changes, bringing in front-row forwards Ken Owens and Wyn Jones alongside scrum-half Ali Price, full-back Liam Williams, wing Josh Adams and centre Bundee Aki.

Despite Gatland's changes tailoring to the pre-existing strategy of matching their opponents physically, attack coach Gregor Townsend insisted creativity would be the key to overcoming Siya Kolisi's reigning world champions.

"If you create opportunities, you have more chance of winning the game," Townsend said. "You may create more through pressure. We know we have to control the game more by moving South Africa around, draining them of energy whenever we can."

The introduction of Finn Russell, who Townsend explained "can ask different questions than any fly-half in the world," on the bench for Owen Farrell may offer the tourists that.

The Boks, in contrast, make just the two enforced changes. Pieter-Steph du Toit and Faf de Klerk miss out through injury, opening up room for Lood de Jager and Cobus Reinach to start.

De Jager's arrival will force Franco Mostert into the back row role he filled after 55 minutes last time out. Indeed, Mostert's shift gained control of the lineout, ensuring the hosts won the remainder of the game 16-0.

 

Discipline key

The war of words between both camps, following Rassie Erasmus' remarkable campaign against the match officials, carried over onto the pitch in the second Test, yet Kyle Sinckler was the only player cited amid a hostile showing from both teams.

However, if the Lions are to succeed in the decider, they must remain composed in response to the Boks' contentious style of game management.

Gatland commented on the "stop-start" nature of the first two Tests but Courtney Lawes maintained his team "can't get too caught up in the niggle of stuff, scrapping."

"They can throw their handbags around, as long as we can get the ball out and play some rugby," the 32-year-old added.

Kolisi jumped to the defence of his side, who have been accused of time-wasting and suffocating games to their benefit, declaring: "If there are niggles we can't leave a man behind. That's our system and what we believe in."

 

Aerial bombardment

The Lions struggled under the high ball in the second Test and any chance of success for Gatland's men largely hangs on the aerial performances of their back three.

Duhan van der Merwe has endured a mixed tour so far, with a positive first outing and a fairly poor second showing. He is joined by Williams and Adams who will go head-to-head with key Springboks Willie le Roux and Makazole Mapimpi.

The latter battle between two try machines promises to be a thriller. Adams leads the Lions' scoring charts with eight tries in four appearances, though Mapimpi also boasts an impressive 15 in 16 internationals.

In response to the tourists' heaviest defeat since 2005, Gatland has rolled the dice in his selections and, if the Lions can get the ball in hand and play as opposed to battling themselves into the ground, they have a chance of legacy-making glory.

 

TEAMS

South Africa: Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach; Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi (captain), Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane, Vincent Koch, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Herschel Jantjies, Morne Steyn, Damian Willemse.

British and Irish Lions: Liam Williams, Josh Adams, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe, Dan Biggar, Ali Price; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Adam Beard, Sam Simmonds, Conor Murray, Finn Russell, Elliot Daly.

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Since 1962-1968, the past five series between the Lions and the Springboks have seen the winner alternate, with the hosts winning the most recent series in 2009.

- The Lions gained just 105 metres from 85 carries against South Africa in the second Test, their average gain of 1.24 metres per carry the lowest by a tier-one side in a Test match since Opta began recording such data in 2010.

- Both matches in this series have been won by the side trailing at the break; the Lions defeated the Springboks in the opener after outscoring them 19-5 in the second half, while in the second Test South Africa scored 21 unanswered points in the second 40 minutes.

- The Lions have lost just two series after winning the first Test (W10, D1) – against New Zealand in 1930 and Australia in 2001 – with the tourists winning four and drawing one of their five such series against South Africa. 

- Alun Wyn Jones is set to win his 12th Lions Test cap, joining Mike Gibson and Graham Price as the joint-fourth most capped player in Lions history, behind only Willie John McBride (17) and Dickie Jeeps (13).

- Damian de Allende has made 25 carries during the series, six more than any other player, gaining the most metres (76), as well as the most post-contact metres (67).

Kyle Sinckler is free to play in the British and Irish Lions' deciding third Test against South Africa on Saturday after a citing for alleged biting against the prop was dismissed.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has made six changes to the side that lost 27-9 in last weekend's encounter in Cape Town.

Hooker Ken Owens, prop Wyn Jones, scrum-half Ali Price, centre Bundee Aki, wing Josh Adams and full-back Liam Williams all come into the XV.

Wales duo Adams and Williams are likely to have an important role in the back three under the Springboks' kicking game that dismantled the Lions after half-time last time out.

Tight-head prop Sinckler will take his place on the bench alongside fly-half Finn Russell, lock Adam Beard and number eight Sam Simmonds – the three of whom are in Test squad for the first time in the series.

Gatland has axed Owen Farrell Taulupe Faletau, Anthony Watson, Stuart Hogg, Rory Sutherland, Tadhg Beirne and Chris Harris from his 23.

"The matchday 23 have an incredibly special opportunity in front of them - to seal a Lions series victory in South Africa," said the veteran coach.

"It doesn't get much bigger than this and we're excited by the challenge that faces us on Saturday.

"We've no excuses from last week - the Springboks put us under pressure in the second half and deserved the win. We have to be much better than that second-half performance, and I believe we will be."

Sinckler denied allegations that he bit Franco Mostert and World Rugby were unable to find sufficient evidence to punish the England forward, who was facing a minimum 12-week ban.

A statement from the governing body read: "Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that on the balance of probabilities, it could not be satisfied that the player committed an act of foul play.

"On that basis, the committee dismissed the citing and the player is free to play again immediately."

South Africa are without world player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit and influential scrum-half Faf de Klerk through injury.

Cobus Reinach comes in for De Klerk while Franco Mostert's switch to blindside flanker means Lood de Jager will partner Eben Etzebeth in the second row.

Veteran fly-half Morne Steyn, whose long-range penalty secured a series triumph for the Springboks over the Lions in 2009, is named on the bench.

 

British and Irish Lions: Liam Williams, Josh Adams, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe, Dan Biggar, Ali Price; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Jack Conan

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Adam Beard, Sam Simmonds, Conor Murray, Finn Russell, Elliot Daly

 

South Africa : Wille le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach; Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi (captain), Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane, Vincent Koch, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Herschel Jantjies, Morne Steyn, Damian Willemse

South Africa's director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is to face a misconduct hearing after publicly criticising the match officials following their first Test defeat to the British and Irish Lions.

Erasmus accused the Lions of "reckless and dangerous" play in their 22-17 win last month and hit out at the standard of refereeing from Nic Berry.

The 48-year-old made the claims in a 62-minute clip posted on social media as he highlighted what he felt were a number of calls that went against South Africa.

He also retweeted clips from an anonymous Twitter user, alleged to be one of his own accounts, highlighting "questionable calls" made by the tourists.

World Rugby has now cited Erasmus for his comments and he, along with South African Rugby, will face a judicial hearing.

"Match officials are the backbone of the sport, and without them there is no game," a statement from the rugby governing body read on Monday.

"World Rugby condemns any public criticism of their selection, performance or integrity which undermines their role, the well established and trust-based coach-officials feedback process, and more importantly, the values that are at the heart of the sport.

"Having conducted a full review of all the available information, World Rugby is concerned that individuals from both teams have commented on the selection and/or performance of match officials.

"However, the extensive and direct nature of the comments made by Rassie Erasmus within a video address, in particular, meets the threshold to be considered a breach of World Rugby regulation 18 (misconduct and code of conduct) and will now be considered by an independent disciplinary panel.

"World Rugby has reminded the management of both teams of the importance of this area and their obligations regarding the values of the sport."

In response, SA Rugby posted a brief statement on Twitter, which read: "SA Rugby has noted the charges brought by World Rugby and will respond through the designated channels. There will be no further comment from SA Rugby until the process is complete."

South Africa defeated the Lions 27-9 in a fiery encounter at the weekend to level the three-match series at 1-1 and set up a decider in Cape Town on Saturday.

Erasmus, who has doubled up as a water carrier, may still be present for that showdown as a hearing date has not yet been set by World Rugby.

Kyle Sinckler could miss the British and Irish Lions' deciding Test against South Africa after being cited for an alleged bite on Franco Mostert.

The incident occurred during the 64th minute of an ill-tempered second Test in Cape Town, a game the hosts won 27-9 to level the series at one apiece.

England prop Sinckler has come off the bench in both Tests so far but would face a minimum ban of 12 weeks if found guilty.

The 28-year-old will attend a World Rugby hearing via video conference on Tuesday.

In a statement, World Rugby added there were no additional citings from the match after Lions full-back Stuart Hogg denied allegations that he had bitten Springbok counterpart Willie le Roux.

"I would never bite an opponent and I am annoyed and upset by this unsubstantiated accusation. I've always been proud of playing rugby in the spirit of the game," Scotland international Hogg said in a statement issued by the Lions.

The third and final Test between the teams takes place at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. 

British and Irish Lions full-back Stuart Hogg has denied biting South Africa's Willie Le Roux and says he is "annoyed and upset" by the allegations.

Footage emerged on Saturday of Hogg clashing with opposite number Le Roux during the Lions' contentious 27-9 loss to the world champions in Cape Town.

The coming together occurred following Cheslin Kolbe's tackle in the air on Conor Murray, with Hogg pressing his face against Le Roux's arm in the scuffle that ensued before being pushed away.

That was one of a number of heated incidents in the ill-tempered contest, which saw South Africa level the three-match series at 1-1 to set up a decider next week.

Citing commissioner Scott Nowland has yet to rule on the clash between Hogg and Le Roux, but the Scotland captain has denied any wrongdoing.

"Following speculation that has surfaced online, I would like to categorically deny any foul play in last night's game," Hogg said in a statement issued by the Lions on Sunday.

"I would never bite an opponent and I am annoyed and upset by this unsubstantiated accusation. I've always been proud of playing rugby in the spirit of the game.

"Respect to the Springboks for their deserved win. The squad is hurting after last night's defeat, but it's all to play for next week. 

"It's going to be a cup final and everyone's going to be up for it."

Warren Gatland says the British and Irish Lions can have no excuses following their 27-9 defeat by South Africa in the second Test.

The Springboks levelled the series in Cape Town as they inflicted the Lions’ heaviest loss since going down 38-19 against New Zealand in 2005.

All was going well for Gatland’s side, who led 9-6 at half-time thanks to three penalties from Dan Biggar.

However, they were very much on the back foot after the break; failing to score a second-half point for the first time in a Test series since 1983.

Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am went over as the world champions took full control, while the boot of Handre Pollard put the icing on the cake.

And Gatland admitted his side struggled to maintain their momentum following a positive first half.

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