All Blacks lock Scott Barrett has been suspended three weeks for his shoulder tackle on Wallabies captain Michael Hooper in the Bledisloe Cup loss in Perth on Saturday.
Barrett was red-carded by referee Jerome Garcès for the tackle near the All Blacks try-line just before halftime in the record 47-26 defeat, forcing his team to play a man short for the entire second half.
He became just the fourth All Blacks player ever to be sent from the field, following Cyril Brownlie (1925), Sir Colin Meads (1967) and Sonny Bill Williams (2017). Garcès expelled Williams from the second-test loss to the British & Irish Lions two years ago.
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At his SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee hearing this week, Barrett pleaded guilty to contravening Law 9:16, which states, "A player must not charge or knock down an opponent carrying the ball without attempting to grasp the player".
He has been suspended until September 1, which rules him out of this week's return encounter against Australia, but will see him return in time for the All Blacks' final World Cup warm-up match against Tonga on September 7.
"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions from his legal representative, Stephen Cottrell, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the red card under Law 9:16," said committee chairman Adam Casselden.
"With respect to sanction, the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks, due to World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play, which results in contact with the head and/or neck, must start at a mid-range level.
"However, taking into account mitigating factors, including the player's exemplary judicial record, his expressed remorse and the fact the player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to three weeks."
SANZAAR adjourned its committee hearing on Sunday to seek additional evidence on Barrett's projected playing schedule over the next few weeks. As well as this weekend's test, he will also miss two possible Mitre 10 Cup outings for Taranaki.
The three-week stand-down leaves the All Blacks, with a short-term locking crisis - veteran Brodie Retallick is also sidelined and racing to be ready for their World Cup opener against South Africa on September 21.
But Barrett will be back to cover Retallick's absence beyond the Australian match, where Patrick Tuipulotu and Jackson Hemopo looming as possible replacements for that fixture.
Join us at 7:30pm Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v Wallabies Bledisloe Cup test