Australian Rugby Union "disappointed" in IRB for James Horwill appeal

© PA Photos
The Australian Rugby Union say that they are "surprised and disappointed" by IRB's appeal against the decision to clear James Horwill of stamping.

The Australian Rugby Union have claimed that they are "surprised and disappointed" by the International Rugby Board's decision to appeal against the clearance of Wallabies captain James Horwill.

The 28-year-old avoided punishment after he was cited for appearing to deliberately stamp on the head of Alun Wyn Jones during Australia's opening Test defeat to the British and Irish Lions last week.

Following the IRB's decision to lodge an appeal, ARU chief executive Bill Pulver has said: "This is an unprecedented step taken by the IRB in what is the most important rugby event staged in Australia since the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

"While we respect the right of the IRB to intervene, we also respect the knowledge and experience of appointed and independent Judicial Officers, and their expertise to consider evidence and reach sound findings.

"James Horwill was cleared of the stamping charge as per the IRB's established judicial process. We are surprised and disappointed that the finding of Mr Hampton is now not only under question but deemed to be 'erroneous'."

The lock will be free to play in the second Test this weekend.

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Australian James Horwill in action against the Barbarians on November 26, 2011
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