Brian O’Driscoll argues that aerial rules ‘need to be looked at’ after Jordie Barrett red

Brian O'Driscoll Jordie Barrett

Brian O’Driscoll has argued that Jordie Barrett’s actions were “totally natural” when his foot made contact with the head of Marika Koroibete.

All Blacks full back Barrett was shown a red card during his side’s 38-21 win against the Wallabies, after an unfortunate collision with Koroibete at Optus Stadium in Perth.

The red card didn’t have too much of an effect on the game, thanks to the new red card rule being trialled in the Rugby Championship which allows a substitute to be brought on after 20 minutes for the player that was sent off.

However, Barrett will likely miss New Zealand’s next three games, unless his red card is overturned by World Rugby officials.

Brian O’Driscoll on Jordie Barrett’s red card.

Ireland rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll tweeted about the incident and argued that referees should be more lenient with players who find themselves in situations similar to Barrett.

“Have watched a lot of these incidents over the past year, the ones red cards were given for and the near misses,” O’Driscoll wrote.

“It is a totally natural action for the catching player to balance themselves out with an extended leg. Look at their body shape on full extension.

“They physically can’t just drop down without re-calibrating their balance in order to avoid injury. This rule really needs to be looked at.

“Issue is once or twice a player has used that re-balancing act as a means to using foul play. In 99% of occasions that is not the case.”

Jordie Barrett’s red splits opinions.

Referee Damon Murphy wasted little time in deciding that the incident was worthy of a red card, although the commentary team on Stan Sport were less convinced.

Former All Blacks fly-half Andrew Mehrtens argued that it was natural for Barrett’s leg to come out in the way it did, while former Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell believes the right decision was made regardless of whether it was accidental or not.

Former Wallabies legend Tim Horan was of the opinion that the incident was in no way worthy of a red card, firmly putting his national bias to the side.

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