Sean O’Brien swinging arm on Waisake Naholo

British and Irish Lions flanker Sean O’Brien is free to play the third rugby test against the All Blacks after his citing for allegedly striking wing Waisake Naholo was dismissed.

In a significant boost for the touring side, an all-Australian judicial panel of Adam Casselden, David Croft and John Langford cleared O’Brien after a marathon hearing at New Zealand Rugby headquarters in Wellington on Sunday. It stretched more than three-and-a-half hours.

It was a big day for the panel who earlier rubbed All Blacks second five-eighth Sonny Bill Williams out of the Auckland test with a four-week ban for a shoulder charge to the head of Lions wing Anthony Watson during the second test, won 24-21 by the Lions. (via