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Sinckler cleared for 3rd Lions Test as biting allegation dismissed

By Liam Heagney

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Kyle Sinckler has been cleared to take his place on the third Test Lions bench after his citing following last Saturday’s second Test versus the Springboks was dismissed, an outcome that Warren Gatland had been expecting as he had chosen the tighthead earlier on Tuesday in his matchday 23. 

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A World Rugby statement on Tuesday afternoon read: “British and Irish Lions player Kyle Sinckler appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having been cited for an act of foul play contrary to law 9.12 (biting) during the Lions’ second Test against South Africa on July 31.

“The independent disciplinary committee chaired by Adam Casselden SC (Australia), joined by former international players David Croft and John Langford (both Australia), considered all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles, submissions from the player and his representative and expert witness testimony.

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Graham Henry on how the Lions must play to win their series versus the Springboks
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Graham Henry on how the Lions must play to win their series versus the Springboks

“The player denied that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. 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.”

Gatland had referenced the Sinckler hearing some hours earlier at his team announcement media briefing. “That is being dealt with at the moment,” said the Lions coach when asked for an update about the case involving an alleged bite on Franco Mostert.

“He [Sinckler] has denied it and we are waiting to hear the decision. Sometimes those things happen. There is nothing clear in any video evidence I have looked at so we will just wait and see what comes back after the hearing.  I haven’t spoken to him. He had a hearing that started at nine o’clock this morning and it’s still going so we are waiting to see the result of that.”

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Following a match that was littered with other controversial incidents, there was much surprise on Sunday evening when it emerged that the alleged Sinckler bite on Mostert was the only clash that merited a citing and further investigation.

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Sinckler cleared for 3rd Lions Test as biting allegation dismissed

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