Adre Smith’s appeal against the guilty verdict and subsequent suspension he received for allegedly biting an opponent in the Stormers’ United Rugby Championship match against Munster earlier this year has been successful.
The 24-year-old lock copped an eight-week suspension in October after a disciplinary committee found him guilty of having bitten Munster hooker Niall Scannell in the 46th minute of the match at Thomond Park.
That judgment and the sanction were handed down even though no evidence of any wrongdoing could be proven after referral to the TMO and video replays and after Smith failed, on the balance of probabilities, to prove his innocence.
At the time, Stormers coach John Dobson rallied behind his player, saying: “We went out to get more expert witnesses who added to our case and support our view of his innocence. So, next week we’ll be formally lodging all the documents and starting the process.
“The more we’ve researched it and the more we examined the papers of their findings, the more convinced we are that this hasn’t been fairly dealt with. So, we will proceed with the appeal.”
Now, according to a report on Netwerk24 on Tuesday, Smith has been acquitted and his suspension set aside. He may therefore play for the Stormers against Zebre at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. Had the eight-week ban not been lifted, the second rower would have been ruled out until 17 February.