Wallabies given double boost

Australia will be able to select skipper James Horwill and flanker George Smith for the final Test against the British & Irish Lions after both were cleared to play (Australia 10/11, Lions 10/11 – match betting).

Captain Horwill faced being banned from the series decider in Sydney on Saturday after the International Rugby Board’s appeal against the decision to exonerate Horwill from his alleged stamp on Alun-Wyn Jones in the first Test.

However, independent appeal officer Graeme Mew found no grounds to overturn the original ruling and the Queensland Reds lock will now line-up for the Wallabies this weekend.

Horwill is delighted to have been cleared of any wrongdoing and can not wait to be part of what he believes will be the biggest game for Australia since the 2003 World Cup final.

“I was confident because I know what happened and I’m glad the right result was made in the end,” said Horwill.

“I love what I do and it means a hell of a lot to me to lead my country in what is probably the biggest game since the World Cup final in 2003.

“I’m very excited by the opportunity and now we can focus on the game, which is what’s important. I feel very vindicated by the ruling.”

Horwill will be joined in the matchday squad for Saturday’s crunch game by experienced flanker George Smith after he returned to full training following a knee injury.

The 32-year-old was expected to miss the whole series against the Lions with the injury but has recovered quicker than expected and is likely to be amongst the replacements, with Michael Hooper expected to start in the openside role (Australia 10/11 to win the series).

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