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'What James Horwill did was far from an accident' - Shane Byrne
The former Lions hooker expects the Australia captain to miss out on the Third Test with a playing ban.

FOR THE THIRD Lions Tour in succession, a citing review board has studied video evidence and produced a judgement that contravenes with rugby logic.

Tana Umaga and Kevan Mealamu were cleared of wrongdoing for the spear tackle on Brian O’Driscoll in 2005 and Schalk Burger was found guilty of gouging the eyes of Luke Fitzgerald, four years later, yet given a lenient eight-week ban.

This time around and James Horwill was Lions opponent caught on camera as he trod on the head of Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones. The Wallaby captain was cited but cleared by officials declared after they ‘could not find that he was acting recklessly’. The IRB have stepped in, however, and Horwill will face another review panel on Monday.

Former Lions and Ireland hooker Shane Byrne believes Horwill will be sanctioned at the hearing and will miss the Third Test on the series in Sydney next week. Byrne was on the 2005 tour to New Zealand when his captain, O’Driscoll, was driven into the turf and suffered a dislocated shoulder.

He told, “Horwill could be in a lot of trouble. What he did, it just looked terrible. It was far from an accident. I’ll put it this way, the fact that the IRB have called for another review does not bode well for him.

They can’t have another Lions tour where the opposing captain is getting in trouble but getting away with it too. The IRB will want to draw a line through this.”

Former Wallaby fullback Greg Martin, speaking on Fox Sports in Australia, was deep in conspiracy theory mode today when he claimed Lions pressure had forced the IRB to act on the stamping furore.

Here is the incident in question:

YouTube credit: charliepoz

Horwill, speaking after Australia’s captain’s run in Melbourne, said, “I had a fair hearing the first time and I expect it to be no different next time. It was a complete accident, which unfortunately happens in rugby. There was no intent and no malice in anything.”

*You can now follow Shane Byrne on Twitter @shanebyrneoffic

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