Auckland - US captain Todd Clever has been cleared to play against Australia in his side's next Rugby World Cup match despite being found guilty of a dangerous tackling offence.
Clever was cited for dangerous tackling and dangerous charging during the United States' 13-6 Pool C win over Russia in New Plymouth on Thursday and the hearing was held on Saturday.
The US skipper admitted the offence, while Independent Judicial Officer Jeff Blackett deemed it to be at the lower end of the scale of seriousness for that category.
"The Judicial Officer found that there were compelling on-field and/or off-field mitigating features and a complete absence of on-field and/or off-field aggravating features," an International Rugby Board statement read.
"In particular he determined that the contact was between the USA player’s upper arm and the victim player’s chest.
"It was a glancing contact as the victim player was already falling away as a result of a legitimate tackle by another USA player.
"There was no adverse effect on the victim player or the match and the offence could not be described as a body check, which would have been more serious."
Accordingly the ruling was that no further sanction was necessary and that Clever was able to resume play with immediate effect.