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Aussie captain Horwill cleared of alleged head stamp

The second row is free to play the remaining two Tests against the Lions.

YouTube credit: lairdysnr

AUSTRALIAN CAPTAIN JAMES HORWILL has been cleared of wrongdoing after a long hearing with citing officers in Australia today.

The second-row appeared to stamp on the head of a prone Alun Wyn Jones [see video above] in the third minute of the Wallabies’ 23-21 loss to the Lions at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. The incident was not picked up by on-field referee Chris Pollock but the citing officer made note of the incident.

Presiding official Nigel Hampton said today: “”I could not find that Horwill was acting recklessly”.

Speaking post-match, Lions coach Warren Gatland remarked, “I played in the days where rucking was allowed and I still bear some scars from some decent ruckings I’ve had.”

However, the former All Black hooker added, “The head to me was sacrosanct… you stay away from that. It’s up to [the judicial officer] for a decision to be made.”

YouTube credit: RugbyMedia

Earlier, Australia coach Robbie Deans has drafted in three new recruits for next Saturday’s Test match in Melbourne. Veteran flanker George Smith is fit again and rejoins the squad while Jess Mogg, who played so well for the Brumbies against the Lions, and Queensland Reds centre Ben Tapuai are also drafted.

There is still no sign of mercurial outhalf Quade Cooper making an international return.

- Additional reporting by Sean Farrell

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Patrick McCarry

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