Cian Healy has been cleared of a charge of acts contrary to good sportsmanship, following a two and a half hour hearing today in Brisbane.
Healy was cited following an incident in the 17th minute of the opening match of the Lions Tour on Wednesday evening against the Western Force, after scrum-half Brett Sheehan alleged that he was bitten during a ruck.
Hearing the case judicial officer Nigel Hampton QC found insufficient evidence to support the allegations and cleared Healy.
“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,” Mr Hampton said in his findings.
“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, subject to his fitness.
Healy will breathe a sigh of relief, as past punishments for biting have been hefty – for example Johan Le Roux’s 18 month suspension in 1994. Healy will now face an intensified selection battle as England’s Alex Corbisiero has already joined up with the squad as cover.