Australia captain James Horwill has revealed just how relieved he was to be cleared to play in the third and final Test against the British and Irish Lions in Sydney on Saturday.
Horwill was last week found not guilty of stamping on Lions lock Alum Wyn Jones in the first test in Brisbane, but the International Rugby Board appealed the decision and another hearing was scheduled.
The 28 year old had an agonising 14-hour wait to discover his fate but is now looking forward to leading out the Australian side as they look to gain another victory and secure a memorable Test series win.
"I'm very relieved. I was confident because I know what happened and I'm glad the right result was made in the end," said Horwill.
"It means a hell of a lot to me to lead my country in what is probably the biggest game since the World Cup final in 2003.
"I'm very excited by the opportunity and now we can focus on the game, which is what's important. I feel vindicated by the ruling. I'd like to thank the public for their support, my family and the team have been overwhelmed by the support. And now it's time to get on with football."
Horwill had been cleared by judicial officer Nigel Hampton QC at the initial hearing but after criticism of the original judgement the IRB announced on Thursday that it would appeal against the citing commission's decision.
The appeal was heard by independent appeal officer Graeme Mew, who declared: "There was sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable judicial officer could have reached the decision [to clear Horwill].
"Accordingly it could not be said that the judicial officer was manifestly wrong or that the interests of justice otherwise required his decision be overturned."
While Australia can count on the leadership of their inspirational captain, the Lions will be without their skipper Sam Warburton who will miss the final Test due to a hamstring injury he picked up playing in the second Test.