Lions' Sinckler not guilty of biting and free to face Springboks

Johannesburg (AFP) –


British and Irish Lions forward Kyle Sinckler was found not guilty of biting by an independent judicial hearing on Tuesday and can play in the series decider against South Africa in Cape Town this weekend.

Lions coach Warren Gatland was sufficiently confident Sinckler would be cleared that he included the Bristol forward among his replacements for the third Test when he named the matchday 23 on Tuesday.

The England tighthead prop had been cited on Sunday after an ill-tempered second Test amid allegations that he bit Springboks lock Franco Mostert midway through the second half.

A panel consisting of three Australians, Adam Casselden and former internationals David Croft and John Langford, dismissed the citing for an act of foul play.

They reached the decision after hearing evidence from Sinckler, Mostert and the second Test match officials, led by New Zealand referee Ben O'Keeffe.

Sinckler came off the bench in the previous two Tests as a second half replacement for Tadhg Furlong.