Qantas Wallabies captain, James Horwill has been cleared to play in Saturday night’s third and deciding Test against the British & Irish Lions in Sydney.
Independent Appeal Officer Graeme Mew, from Canada, this morning declined to uphold an IRB Appeal brought against Horwill after he was cleared of a foul play charge at a previous judicial hearing.
The Qantas Wallabies captain was initially cleared by Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC who found that on the balance of probabilities he could not find an intentional or deliberate action of stamping or trampling.
Horwill was alleged to have stamped or trampled on British & Irish Lions’ lock, Alun Wyn Jones, in the third minute of the opening Test of the DHL Australia 2013 Lions Tour in Brisbane on Saturday 22 June.
Mr Mew noted that “for the appeal to succeed the IRB would have to establish that there was some misapprehension of law or principle by the Judicial Officer or that his decision was so clearly wrong or manifestly unreasonable that no Judicial Officer could have reached the conclusion that he did.”
Following a two and a half hour appeal hearing conducted by video conference, and extensive deliberation, Mr Mew concluded that the Judicial Officer had not made any errors of law or principle.
“There was sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable Judicial Officer could have reached the decision that was made,” Mr Mew said.
“Accordingly, it could not be said that the Judicial Offer was manifestly wrong or that the interests of justice otherwise required his decision be overturned.”
Mr Mew also stated that the IRB's appeal had been properly taken in the discharge of its responsibilities to promote and ensure player welfare and to protect the image and the reputation of the game.