Lions' Sinckler not guilty of biting and free to face Springboks

Kyle Sinckler has been cleared for biting. Photo: Getty Images
Kyle Sinckler has been cleared for biting. Photo: Getty Images

British and Irish Lions forward Kyle Sinckler was found not guilty of biting by an independent judicial hearing on Tuesday and can play in the series decider against South Africa in Cape Town this weekend. 

Lions coach Warren Gatland was sufficiently confident Sinckler would be cleared that he included the Bristol forward among his replacements for the third Test when he named the matchday 23 on Tuesday.

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The England tighthead prop had been cited on Sunday after an ill-tempered second Test amid allegations that he bit Springboks lock Franco Mostert midway through the second half.

A panel consisting of three Australians, Adam Casselden and former internationals David Croft and John Langford, dismissed the citing for an act of foul play.

They reached the decision after hearing evidence from Sinckler, Mostert and the second Test match officials, led by New Zealand referee Ben O'Keeffe.

“The player denied that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card,” World Rugby said in a statement.

“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.”

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Sinckler came off the bench in the previous two Tests as a second half replacement for Tadhg Furlong.

BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS (15-1): Liam Williams, Josh Adams, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe, Dan Biggar, Ali Price, Jack Conan, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Itaro Itoje, Tadhg Furlong, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones. 

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Adam Beard, Sam Simmonds, Conor Murray, Finn Russell, Elliot Daly.

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