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.
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.’’