Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks seek clarity over concussion protocols after Sam Cane confusion

The All Blacks want to get some clarity on head injury assessments (HIA) protocols after Sam Cane was ruled out of New Zealand's Rugby World Cup opener, despite passing his test. 

At halftime, flanker Cane went for an HIA and passed, but was not permitted to return to the field against the Springboks. 

Match officials deemed that Cane had spent too much time off the park, therefore wasn't allowed back.

World Rugby's laws state: "If the player is not available to return to the field of play after 10 minutes [actual time] of leaving the playing area, the replacement becomes permanent."

"The best I can tell you is that the on-ground official felt he had over-done his time for the test," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

"He [Cane] passed the test. He was as good as gold. We just need to chat to the match commissioner and understand the circumstances and how all the things work. They are going to have a yarn about it, and hopefully rectify the situation that happened today for future games."

Cane was replaced by lock Patrick Tuipulotu, forcing Scott Barrett to shift to the back row, joining captain Kieran Read and Ardie Savea.

Despite the loss of Cane, the All Blacks went onto win the test 23-13. 

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