Free to play ... Eben Etzebeth. Photo: AFP
LONDON: South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth is free to play against England this weekend after being cleared of eye-gouging at a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.
Etzebeth had been cited for making contact with the "eye or eye area" of Scotland fly-half Greig Laidlaw during the second half of the Springboks' 21-10 victory at Murrayfield on Saturday.
However, judicial officer David Martin ruled the contact had been accidental and the 21-year-old Etzebeth is now free to face England at Twickenham this coming Saturday.
An official statement from the Six Nations, who oversee disciplinary matters in the autumn internationals, read: "The judicial officer held that the contact in the area of the Scotland player's eyes was accidental, and as such did not constitute foul play.
"Eben Etzebeth is free to resume playing immediately."
Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer is due to name his team to play England on Wednesday.