(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
SYDNEY (AP) Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper is free to play in the Rugby Championship decider against New Zealand next week despite being found guilty of a striking charge at a judicial hearing on Thursday.
Hooper received a one-week suspension after being found by judicial officer Nigel Hampton to have struck Argentina flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez during a championship match at Mendoza last weekend. Hampton found Hooper struck out at Sanchez with an open hand because the Pumas flyhalf was impeding him by holding his jersey.
The offense could have incurred a two-week suspension, but Hampton reduced it to one week, taking into account "Hooper's good character and repute along with his good disciplinary record."