Bulls prop hit with six-week biting ban

Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman has been hit with a heavy suspension for biting Melbourne backrower Richard Hardwick during their Super Rugby clash last weekend.

Schoeman pleaded guilty on Tuesday at a SANZAAR judicial committee hearing held via video conference and was banned for the next six weeks.

The forward wasn't penalised over the incident, which occurred in the 58th minute of the Rebels' 28-10 loss in Pretoria, despite the complaints of Melbourne captain Tom English to Kiwi referee Ben O'Keeffe.

English appealed to the referee and gestured towards the evidence on Hardwick's stomach.

"Taking into account mitigating factors including the player's early guilty plea, his good character, his good disciplinary record and his remorse the judicial committee reduced the (entry-level suspension of 12 weeks) to a period of six weeks," judicial committee chairman Adam Casselden SC said.