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All Blacks coach breathing a sigh of relief as Scott Barrett avoids Rugby World Cup ban after red card against Springboks

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All Blacks coach Ian Foster said it was a “great result” that Scott Barrett avoided a World Cup ban after being sent off against South Africa.

Barrett, 29, was dismissed in the 35-7 defeat at Twickenham on Friday for a second yellow card.

But an independent judicial committee found his sending off was sufficient sanction.

It means the second-row forward is free to face France in the World Cup curtain-raiser at the Stade de France in Paris on September 8.

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“It was a two-yellow (red) card. It was a technical red. We had a fair hearing, like we always feel we do, and we came out with a great result,” a relieved Foster told New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ after training in Germany late Tuesday.

“Scott is pretty important for us.”

With first-choice lock Brodie Retallick sidelined by a knee injury, Barrett is set to partner Sam Whitelock in New Zealand’s second row against France.

“You always hold your breath, but (the hearing) was nice, and particularly for Scott. He felt bad about the whole situation.

“It’s not easy being red-carded and seeing the team concede three lineout maul tries in the second half in an area he takes a lot of pride in.”

The All Blacks coach said prop Tyrel Lomax, who needed 30 stitches for a deep leg wound he suffered against South Africa, was unlikely to be fit for the France match.

Rookie Fletcher Newell, 23, is in line to start in place of Lomax.

AFP

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