British & Irish Lions player Kyle Sinckler appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having been cited for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.12 (biting) during the British & Irish Lions’ second test against South Africa on 31 July, 2021.
Footage showed how Sinckler and Springbok second row Franco Mostert were at the bottom of a ruck when it appeared as though Mostert’s arm ended up in contact with the mouth of the Lions prop.
As play broke up and players came apart, Mostert could be seen standing up and looking at his extended arm, as if to indicate that there had been a bite of some kind.
A citing followed but the independent Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Adam Casselden SC (Australia), joined by former international players David Croft and John Langford (both Australia), considered all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles, submissions from the player and his representative and expert witness testimony.
Sinckler denied that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card.
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 Sinckler is free to play again immediately.
Therefore he will be available and on the bench for the third and deciding Test, after he was pencilled in subject to the outcome of the hearing.
The Lions team to take on South Africa is as follows.
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) #837
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) #842
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852
20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849
21. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
22. Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland) #835
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
“The matchday 23 have an incredibly special opportunity in front of them – to seal a Lions Series victory in South Africa,” said Gatland.
“It doesn’t get much bigger than this and we’re excited by the challenge that faces us on Saturday.
“We’ve no excuses from last week, the Springboks put us under pressure in the second half and deserved the win. We have to be much better than that second half performance, and I believe we will be.”