Squire cleared to play for All Blacks

The Highlanders loosie Liam Squire has been cleared to play for the All Blacks this week after having his citing thrown out by the SANZAAR judiciary.

Squire had been cited for striking with his shoulder in the Highlanders win over the Hurricanes on Friday night.

The Highlanders flanker had been cited for leading with his shoulder when clearing out TJ Perenara from a ruck but the committee decided the Wellington Hurricanes scrumhalf had dropped to his knees just before impact.

The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee dismissed the citing and Squire has been cleared of all charges.

In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Nigel Hampton QC ruled the following:

"The Foul Play Review Committee found that the Player had legitimately entered the ruck 'through the gate', and not at great speed, with the intent of cleaning out the other Player. The Player had taken up, and held, a correct body position in order to try and effect the clean out, with his upper body and head in a horizontal plane and with both his hands (neither with closed fists) in a position to be able to engage and grapple with the other player around his torso (about the level of the shoulder blades). As the Player entered the ruck, and immediately before he engaged with the other player, that other player was in a head down, bottom up, position facing in the direction of the Player. At the very last moment the other player dropped down on his knees (possibly, in part, as a result of the actions of other players), and brought his upper body, shoulders and head up, directly into the line of the committed Squire. The resulting impact between the two, which was not of significant force (and did not require any HIA), was virtually instantaneous. In these circumstances the citing was not made out on the evidence."

"The player is therefore free to play."

The All Blacks play France in the first Test at Eden Park on Saturday.