Sam Cane has been slapped with a heavy suspension for his dangerous tackle on Jesse Kriel in the World Cup final between New Zealand and South Africa in Paris.
Cane appeared remotely before an independent disciplinary committee, led by Adam Casselden SC (Australia), alongside Becky Essex (England) and Donal Courtney (Ireland), on Monday.
The 31-year-old sat pitchside looking astonished as referee Wayne Barnes waved a red card, upgrading the yellow he had initially been shown for a collision with Kriel in the All Blacks’ one-point loss to the Springboks at the Stade de France.
The tackle in question breached Law 9.13, involving dangerous upright tackling with head contact. The committee found the degree of danger to be high due to forceful contact with the opponent’s head, leading to a red card offence.
Despite Cane’s exemplary disciplinary record, his early admission of foul play, and remorse, the committee imposed a three-match suspension.
The ban will see the All Blacks skipper – who last week announced he will join Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath for the 2024 season – miss games scheduled against Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo, Panasonic Wild Knights, and Urayasu D-Rocks.
However, there’s a chance for the openside flanker to reduce his suspension to two matches by successfully completing the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme.
Photo: EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson