An independent SANZAAR judiciary panel has overturned Jordie Barrett’s red card, green lighting him for the All Black’s upcoming Test against Argentina.
Speaking from the sideline at All Blacks training on Wednesday, Barrett was “rapt with the outcome”.
The process involved not only Barrett, but also head coach Ian Foster, backs coach Brad Mooar, All Blacks manager Darren Shand as well as a legal counsel and two bio-mechanics experts.
With the benefit of time on their side, Mooar says they were able to gather all the relevant video and bio-mechanic evidence, that in turn satisfied the SANZAAR panel.
“We're dealing with a situation where a player was charged with a reckless or dangerous act, and for us it never was that,” he said.
“He's come up, the sun in his eyes, he's mis-timed his run and approach… it's got big on him if you like, he's ended up having to go back to catch it whilst he's in the air, and as a result of going back the leg's going to come up.”
Mooar says it’s something that’s never happened with Barrett in over 100 first class games, and they won’t be adjusting his technique.
Barrett was just glad his opponent wasn’t injured in the incident.
“They could see I had no intent to hurt [Wallabies winger] Marika [Koroibete]. He’s a well-respected opponent who I’m happy came away with no serious injury,” he said.
Despite their decision being overturned, Mooar says this is in no way an attack on the officials involved.
“They're in a really challenging situation of seeing an incident and having to make a ruling really quickly.”
Mooar saying Barrett’s relief at having the card overturned was “palpable”.
“It's a hell of a thing to be red carded playing for your country. He's devastated by that in the moment, but will grow from the experience, what he's been through.”
The All Blacks take on Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Sunday, with the team set to be named on Friday.