Swain was sent off after the incident that also saw Hill shown a yellow card for hair-pulling. The Australia second row argued that his behaviour did not meet the threshold for a red card, and that he was merely attempting to “send a message”, but was banned for two weeks and will miss the rest of the series.
“He had hurt me, deliberately, three times during the game, including a really forceful pulling of my hair,” Swain told this week’s hearing. “I have never been treated in the way Hill treated me in a professional game before, and it hurt, and surprised me, and angered me.
“He first hit me in the face about 15 minutes earlier. I was standing to the side of a ruck, and he moved forward and struck me in the face with his open palm. It was forceful, and it hurt. Nothing was done about it, but I kept my cool and did not retaliate.
“Then in the maul immediately before my red card, he struck me in the face again, this time with his elbow. Then, as I tried to avoid that and get the ball, he grabbed a large chunk of my hair, and pulled it forcefully. It hurt, a lot.”
Hill’s actions were considered as mitigation when the panel weighed up Swain’s punishment. The sanction was given an initial entry-point of six weeks before that was halved and then reduced by a further week. In any event, Swain will not feature over the remainder of England’s tour.
“Unfortunately I didn’t control myself, as I had done earlier,” Swain added. “I was angry that he was assaulting me like this, and I wanted him to get the message it wasn’t okay.
“I pulled him toward me and moved my head forward to try and send him a message. I wasn’t really thinking about it, and wasn’t actually trying to headbutt him. But I accept my head did make contact with the side of his head.
“I shouldn’t have done it. I’m sorry I did. I was severely provoked in a way I have never seen in elite rugby before, but I know that I shouldn’t have done it.”
Hill, who has retained his place in England’s starting line-up, confirmed in a written statement that he “had absolutely no symptoms as a result of the incident” and “holds no ill feelings towards” Swain.