MELBOURNE (Reuters) – All Blacks fullback Jordie Barrett is free to play in the Rugby Championship after his red card for a boot to the face of Australia winger Marika Koroibete was dismissed by a judiciary panel.
Barrett was sent off after making contact with Koroibete while jumping to catch a high ball in the first half of the 38-21 win over Australia at Perth Stadium on Sunday.
Governing body SANZAAR’s judicial hearing ruled the contact was inadvertent while Barrett lost balance in the air.
“With no intent to lash out, the hearing cleared him of wrongdoing and removed the red card from his record,” SANZAAR said in a release on Tuesday.
The verdict frees Barrett for Sunday’s match against Argentina on the Gold Coast as the All Blacks look for a third successive win in the southern hemisphere competition.
Match officials were criticised by players and pundits for issuing the red card, and All Blacks coach Ian Foster was quick to confirm his team would contest the charge after the game.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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