5 Aug 2015

Hooper free to play after failed SANZAR appeal

12:01 pm on 5 August 2015

Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper is free to play in this weekend's Rugby Championship decider against the All Blacks after the dismissal of an appeal against the leniency of his one-week ban for striking an opponent was dismissed.

Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper, Rugby Championship, Australia v South Africa, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, July 18, 2015

Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper Photo: Photosport

SANZAR launched an appeal on Friday against Hooper's punishment for striking Argentina's Nicolas Sanchez in last weekend's test in Mendoza and the Australian Rugby Union launched a counter-appeal against the original ban but both were unanimously dismissed yesterday by a three-man committee.

The former Wallabies captain landed the blow after being held back by Pumas first five Sanchez while trying to support Dean Mumm, as the Australian lock charged to the line to score a try in their 34-9 victory.

A two-week ban was reduced to one week because of Hooper's exemplary disciplinary record, and the original judicial officer considered Hooper missing a match for his club Manly a sufficient penalty.

The Wallabies could secure a first southern hemisphere title since the similarly truncated 2011 Tri-Nations if they can beat the All Blacks in Sydney.

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