All Blacks boost as Squire cleared to front France

    2018-06-03 14:46

    Cape Town - The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee has dismissed the citing of Highlanders loose forward Liam Squire for contravening Law Law 9.12: Striking with shoulder, after he was cited over the weekend.

    The incident occurred in the 11th minute of the match between the Highlanders and Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

    The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee of Nigel Hampton QC (Chairman), Stephen Hardy and John Langford assessed the case.

    In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton QC ruled the following: 

    "Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player, from the other player involved (and a medical report on him), from a member of the Highlanders' coaching staff, and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Foul Play Review Committee dismissed the citing.

    "The Foul Play Review Committee found that the Player had legitimately entered the ruck 'through the gate', and not at great speed, with the intent of cleaning out the other player. The player had taken up, and held, a correct body position in order to try and effect the clean out, with his upper body and head in a horizontal plane and with both his hands (neither with closed fists) in a position to be able to engage and grapple with the other player around his torso (about the level of the shoulder blades). As the player entered the ruck, and immediately before he engaged with the other player, that other player was in a head down, bottom up, position facing in the direction of the player. At the very last moment the other player dropped down on his knees (possibly, in part, as a result of the actions of other players), and brought his upper body, shoulders and head up, directly into the line of the committed Squire. The resulting impact between the two, which was not of significant force (and did not require any HIA), was virtually instantaneous. In these circumstances the citing was not made out on the evidence.

    "The player is therefore free to play.”

    All SANZAAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to the Foul Play Review Committee to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.

    For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the Foul Play Review Committee.

    As a result, Squire if free to play in the All Blacks' opening Test of the year against France at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.

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