All Blacks full back Jordie Barrett has had his red card overturned by a SANZAAR judicial committee and is free to play in his country’s next game.
Barrett was sent off during New Zealand’s win against Australia on Saturday, after his boot made contact with the face of Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete when he was catching the ball in the air.
His sending off didn’t have too much affect on the game, as red carded players are allowed to be substituted after 20 minutes in a new rule being trialled in the Rugby Championship, but the incident sparked much discussion nonetheless.
Judiciary statement on Jordie Barrett’s red card.
The committee released a statement explaining their decision, saying that Barrett had not committed an intentional or reckless act of foul play, recognising that the incident was purely accidental.
“He legitimately went up in the air to collect a high ball, when in trying to regain his balance on the downward trajectory, his boot inadvertently made contact with his opponent’s head,” the statement reads.
“The accidental nature of the incident lead the Judicial Committee to find that there was no intentional nor reckless act of dangerous play, with the result that the Red Card is expunged from the player’s record.
“The player is therefore free to play in the upcoming matches.”
➡️ Jordie Barrett’s reaction to being cleared by the SANZAAR judiciary after his red card against Australia. pic.twitter.com/tWDUR6Upih
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 8, 2021
‘I had no intent to hurt Marika.’
Barrett gave his own reaction to the the overturning of his red card and was thankful that Koroibete came away with “no serious injuries” from the incident.
“I’m super grateful to avoid sanction by the panel. It was a long process and very thorough,” Barrett said.
“There was a couple of South Africans and one Argentinian on the panel and they handled it very well. There was integrity with the process.
“I’m just happy with the outcome and it’s good to see that [they recognised] that I had no intent to hurt Marika. He’s a well-respected opponent and I’m happy that he has come away with no serious injuries.
“I’m just super lucky to avoid sanction and I’m excited for the week ahead.”
Barrett is now free to play in New Zealand’s next match, a third round Rugby Championship match against Argentina on Saturday.