All Black bad boy faces ban
All Black lock Scott Barrett has been charged with a dangerous tackle and is facing a possible ban, which would rule him out of Saturday’s deciding Bledisloe Cup Test against the Wallabies in Auckland – or even worse, part of the World Cup.
The SANZAAR foul play review committee will convene on Sunday – by video conference – to consider Barrett’s case.
Barrett was sent off just before half-time in a key moment of the Wallabies’ upset 47-26 victory in the series opener in Perth at the weekend.
He was red-carded by French referee Jerome Garcès for an apparent shoulder charge which struck Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper in the back and neck as the All Blacks were desperately defending their line.
Barrett would need to plead guilty and accept the finding for the case to be decided by the foul play review committee, otherwise, it will need to go to a judiciary hearing.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen indicated after the match there was some hope champion lock Brodie Retallick may be able to return at Eden Park on Saturday, after missing the Bledisloe opener with a dislocated shoulder suffered two weeks ago against South Africa.
However, it seems likely they may turn to 24-Test lock Patrick Tuipulotu to partner veteran Sam Whitelock in their second row as they attempt to retain the Bledisloe Cup, which they have held since 2003.
All Black fullback Beauden Barrett indicated his younger brother was grappling with his tackle on Hooper, and subsequent punishment, which now leaves his initial World Cup fate in the hands of the judiciary.
“I was sitting next to him in the changing room. Obviously, he’s really disappointed and carrying a lot of responsibility on his shoulders at the moment, but these things happen we’ve just got to get around him,” Beauden said.
“I reminded him that he’s not a dirty player and he realises that, too, so he’s just disappointed in himself.
“He’s taking responsibility but these things can happen especially when you’re defending close to the line and players do get in a low position.”