Sam Cane cops two-match ban for World Cup final red card

New Zealand captain Sam Cane has been suspended for an effective two matches following his red card against South Africa in the All Blacks’ 12-11 World Cup final loss in Paris.

Cane will have to sit out matches for his new Japanese team Tokyo Sungoliath against local rivals Brave Lupus Tokyo (November 18) and Saitama Wild Knights (November 25).

A ban for a third fixture has been suspended as long as he takes part in World Rugby’s coaching intervention programme, which Cane has indicated he will do.

He received a yellow card, upgraded to a red on bunker review, for a dangerous tackle on Springbok centre Jesse Kriel after 27 minutes, becoming the first player to be sent off in a World Cup decider.

Cane admitted foul play to an independent judicial committee, but contested it did not warrant a red card.

All Blacks Captain Sam Cane will appear before an Independent Judicial Committee today for this red card he received vs South Africa in the 2023 RWC Final.

This offence is contrary to Law 9.13 on dangerous tackling.#RWC2023 #AllBlacks

— Sin Bin Rugby. (@sin_bin_rugby) November 6, 2023

However, it was determined there was “direct and forceful contact with the player’s shoulder to the head of the ball carrier” and no mitigation for the incident, World Rugby said.

The committee cut the recommended sanction of a six-match ban in half due to Cane’s “exemplary disciplinary record, his early acknowledgment of foul play and his clear remorse”, and removed another fixture on completion of the coaching intervention programme.

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Cane has signed a short-term contract to play in Japan this season, where he will be a teammate of Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe, before returning to New Zealand in June.

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