Innocent not lucky: James Horwill defends conduct ahead of unprecedented IRB appeal


Wallabies skipper James Horwill is not concerned about the spectre of another hearing into his alleged stamping on the head of British and Irish Lions second-rower Alun Wyn Jones, declaring that multiple camera angles not yet publicly seen would again vindicate him.

June 28, 2013 – 10:57AM

I didn’t know anything about any incident until after I was cited after the game.

Horwill was cited for a third-minute incident in the second Test when he struck Jones in the head during a ruck, but the Wallabies second-rower was later cleared by a hearing held by judicial officer Nigel Hampton.

James Horwill (L) with fellow second-row partner Kane Douglas.James Horwill (L) with fellow second-row partner Kane Douglas. Photo: Getty Images

However, the International Rugby Board has sparked controversy by effectively appealing its own decision and ordered a rehearing which will take place after Saturday’s second Test against the Lions at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.

It is an unwelcome distraction for the Wallabies that must win Saturday’s game after losing the first Test 23-21.

Despite the uncertainty he is now facing – an unfavourable decision could rule him out of a potentially series-deciding third Test in Sydney –  Horwill said the IRB ‘‘was entitled to do what they’ve done’’ but he believed the initial hearing, which had viewed nine different camera angles, had given the ‘‘correct result’’.

‘‘I think they just showed that I was completely unaware of what was going on and you can just see that with the different angles,’’ Horwill said. ‘‘You can slow anything down to make it look different but if you look at it from a number of angles you can see what happened.’’

Horwill said he was a clean player and had not even realised that he had struck Jones, who had required stitches.

‘‘‘I didn’t know anything about any incident until I was told the next morning,’’ Horwill said.

“I had no idea about anything that had happened during the game, (and) still when I was told I had been cited I had no idea what it was for until  I was shown the incident a number of times.

‘‘It was a completely accidental act, there was no intent from my side. That’s the way it was, there was no intent, there was no malice. I completely had no idea Alun was anywhere near my feet.

‘‘Any incident you look at you can make it look worse than it is. I’m confident about what happened on the field. I have no knowledge of anything ever happening.’’

‘‘There were nine different camera angles to look at, so it was very thorough and the hearing went through it’s due process.

‘‘I’ve played 130 professional rugby games and never been cited once (and have) never attended any judicial hearing. It was a complete accident. Unfortunately accidents happen in rugby, it’s a contact sport and there was no intent or malice on my end to do anything.’’

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  1. Bryce,
    IRB is all in on Aus. Did you see the reffing last game? I think they worry that if Aus keeps doing bad the country will walk away from union to that kickball thing they do while wearing muscle shirts.

    I really don’t think he meant to do that. He couldn’t see the guy IMO. That said were it Botha, he’d be in jail.

    IRB may be doing Robbie Deans a favor if they ban him.
    Lions will be much better this game without that lazy stoner Phillips at scrum half.

    Robby & his Deaniacs need something to point to besides his horrific exclusion of their Crocodile Dundee of Rugby Union….Quualude Cooper.

  2. Reply to Americano @ 4:57 pm:

    I’m not following you (how would banning the Aus captain benefit Deans)… it’s the Brits that have forced the unprecedented decision to appeal the already cleared citing… and the result will only be out before the game…

    This from a team that has sported the likes of the filthy Martin Johnson, Drewcock, Shaw to name but a few…

    As for Aus walking away lol… that game broke every viewership record in history…

  3. Reply to Boertjie @ 6:22 pm:

    ‘Television’ viewership mate… smashed the last record for the RWC NZ vs Wallabies by quite some way…

    I seem to remember a Bok vs Wallabies in the 70’s (perhaps earlier as it was black and white) in Brisbane holding that sort of record being +- 95 000.

    Would have been awesome to be at those sort of crowds but realistically speaking one could probably have seen fokall of the game… whereas last week at the rugby designed new Suncorp Stadium 52500 people could see every bit of the game…

    Actually AFL at the MCG still does 100k for their big games… but then again it is a game that designed for a big circular field… somewhere I don’t like watching rugby at…

    The game is at Etihad tonight… also an AFL field… so that kind of sucks… but I’ve scored free tickets to the Medalion club (have my own reclining seat with own mini tele for replays) so beggars can’t be choosers…

    All tickets for the game sold out months ago in 6 minutes and it was impossible to even buy one…

  4. Games for B/I Lions vs SA had to be sold out in similar time no?
    I reckon Lions tours are one of the worlds greatest can’t lose franchises. Almost like a McDonald’s of sport ( or NFL franchise).

  5. Reply to Americano @ 7:41 am:

    Yep but at least in RSA there were other means to get tickets… here is was internet or nowt…

    I tried and they were gone in the first minute and 5 minutes later they were on sale on ebay for 3 times the price!

    The old algorithmic-bots used by touts no doubt…

    So lucky me missus lucked out with one of her clients… and first class too boot…

  6. Reply to Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa @ 6:34 am:

    In 130 games has NEVER been cited for foul play once… not too mention the lengthy citing commission cleared him… and now they (the IRB read Brits) are ‘appealing’ because of ‘social media’ noise and the need to win this series at all costs to halt the SH dominance over their baby…

    Anyways won’t happen till next week now… it’s quite amazing how history is ‘hopefully’ repeating itself with this series…

    In 2001 the Lions won first series and went into Melbourne and second test as favourites only for a ‘Brumby’ to turn the table…

    Could we see the same and say Tomane or Christian to do the same… what are the odds… well huge I tell ya…

    Well I’m off into town… here’s hoping… cheers mate…