Lachlan Swinton guilty of dangerous clean-out but free to face France

Lachlan Swinton is free to face France next month after he was handed no further sanction for a red card in the Waratahs' 40-7 loss to the Chiefs last week.

Swinton had been sent off for a dangerous cleanout on Chiefs back-rower Lachlan Boshier inside the final 10 minutes at Lottoland last Saturday, but was still included in Dave Rennie's 38-man Wallabies squad the following day.

Rennie had been confident Swinton could make a case to beat the charg, and while the Waratahs back-rower was found guilty it was deemed the offence warranted no further punishment.

In a somewhat confusing SANZAAR judicial statement that also confirmed the red card had been dismissed, Swinton was said to have made a genuine attempt at a clean-out on Boshier and that mitigating factors had resulted in "glancing contact" with the Chiefs' forward's head.

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available video footage in conjunction with all other evidence, including from the match officials, player, and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Judicial Committee dismissed the Red Card," SANZAAR's Judicial Committee Chairman Stephen Hardy ruled.

"In not upholding the Red Card, the Judicial Committee found that it was not satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the Red Card threshold had been met. The Committee found the Player had made a genuine attempt to clean the defensive player away from the ball and that with mitigating factors, glancing contact was made with the defensive player's head.

"The Committee found, after careful analysis of World Rugby's Head Contact Process and Dangerous Cleanout framework, that this contact, while amounting to foul play, was not with a sufficient degree of danger to warrant a Red Card.

"The player is therefore free to resume playing and no further sanction will be applied. The Red Card will be expunged from the player's record."

While Swinton may struggle to win a spot in Rennie's starting XV for the opening Test against France on Jul. 7, he likely will come into contention for a spot on the bench and then potentially be given an opportunity in the run-on side in either Melbourne or Sydney.

Rennie is a fan of Swinton's aggressive streak - which also earned him a red card on his Test debut last year - and doesn't want the volatile back-rower to dumb down his approach despite this latest brush with the SANZAAR judiciary.

"I think in his situation, I would have thought a yellow card would have been a bit more appropriate given other decisions we saw made over the last X amount of weeks around head contact," Rennie said of Swinton's clean-out.

"So he needs to be more accurate [but] we don't want him to lose that aggressive edge."

The Wallabies are currently in camp on the Gold Coast preparing for the series with France.