The players were visiting a safari park when the incident happened. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

A rugby player has missed a game after he was bitten by a lion as he tried to pet the animal.

Wales and Ospreys hooker, Scott Baldwin,29, missed his team's latest Pro14 fixture in Bloemfontein, South Africa, due to what his coach described as an "incident".

Baldwin and the other players were visiting a safari park when the incident happened. Former England player Andy Goode posted on Twitter a video of the incident.

"Stroke the Lion it'll be fine they said! Here's @scottbaldwin2 petting a lion like it's a pet cat!" Goode said in the tweet.

Coash Steve Tandy initially said Baldwin's absence was not rugby related. He later said in a statement: "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," he continued.

"It's probably one of the silliest things I've ever been involved in, but thankfully he's okay and hopefully he'll be back up and running in the next couple of weeks."

Baldwin later apologised to his fans for having missed the game.

"Sorry all Ospreys fans for letting you and the team down by missing the game through the bite!" he said on Twitter.