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Rugby - Namibia's Van Lill gets World Cup boost as red card is rescinded

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By Reuters
Rugby - Namibia's Van Lill gets World Cup boost as red card is rescinded
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Argentina v Namibia - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool C - Leicester City Stadium, Leicester, England - 11/10/15 Namibia's PJ van Lill Reuters / Darren Staples/File Photo   -   Copyright  Reuters Staff(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Namibia loose-forward PJ van Lill has received a Rugby World Cup reprieve after successfully appealing against a red card he received in a warm-up match against South African franchise Southern Kings on Saturday.

Van Lill, who will be appearing at his third World Cup in Japan, was sent off in the 21-17 victory along with Kings flanker Thembelani Bholi after the pair were involved in a scuffle.

It would have meant a suspension for Namibia’s opening three games of the World Cup against Italy, South Africa and New Zealand.

However, on Tuesday he made a successful appeal to a panel chaired by Roger Morris (Wales), and also containing former international players Olly Kohn (Wales) and Leon Lloyd (England).

“The player’s appeal was successful. The Appeal Panel found that this was a unique case where there was no foul play in the context of the particular circumstances,” World Rugby said in a statement.

The versatile Van Lill, 35, has 50 international caps since making his debut in 2006 and has played at lock, flank and number eight in recent years. He is expected to be used at the back of the scrum in Japan, where Namibia are also in the same pool as Canada.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge)