Lions pleased with Healy citing verdict

Cian Healy has been cleared of the alleged biting incident in the first-half of the British & Irish Lions match against the western Force in Perth on Wednesday night. [more]

Lions pleased with Healy citing verdict

Cian Healy has been cleared of the alleged biting incident in the first-half of the British & Irish Lions match against the western Force in Perth on Wednesday night.

The Leinster and Ireland prop had been cited post match for acts contrary to good sportsmanship, but was cleared of the charge following a two and a half hour hearing today in Brisbane.

Lions Tour Manager Andy Irvinesaid after the hearing: “The British & Irish Lions are very pleased with the outcome of today’s judicial hearing in Brisbane. The Judicial Officer, Nigel Hampton QC, was extremely fair and thoroughly considered all the facts of the case in great detail.

"We always believed that Cian had done nothing wrong and had not acted maliciously in any way. The decision was important to the player’s and indeed squad’s integrity as the allegation was a serious one.”

Cian Healy was also pleased with the verdict and said: “I am very relieved that the hearing has cleared me of such an allegation. I was naturally very disappointed that there was a citing in the first place.

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"I always maintained that nothing happened and that I had done nothing illegal. The opposition player’s arm hit me. It is as simple as that. The support I had from the management and all the lads was wonderful and I am glad that it is all over.”

The 17th minute incident, in which it was alleged Healy had bitten the finger of Force scrum half Brett Sheehan, was dealt with by Judicial Officer, Nigel Hampton QC, who found insufficient evidence to support the allegations and cleared Healy.

In his findings Mr Hampton stated that on the balance of probabilities he was not satisfied that Healy bit Force scrumhalf, Brett Sheehan.

Mr Hampton said in his findings: “There is no conclusive video evidence of the incident and post-match it was not possible to distinguish any discernible bite marks outside of the ‘regular’ marks usually found following a Rugby match,”

“I cannot find proven on the balance of probabilities that there was a deliberate bite here, and the citing complaint is not upheld.”

Hampton determined that during the tackle Sheehan’s arm may have come in contact with Healy’s mouth and due to the pressure of the tackle it is likely that unavoidable contact between Healy’s mouth and teeth and Sheehan’s arm occurred.

The decision means Healy will be available for selection for all future games on tour.

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