Barrett suspended for three weeks, clear for World Cup

by Iain Payten

All Blacks lock Scott Barrett will be free to play in New Zealand’s World Cup opener after being suspended for three weeks for shoulder charging Wallabies captain Michael Hooper in Perth.

After getting a red card at Optus Stadium, Barrett pleaded guilty to the offence under Law 9.16 - a player must not charge or knock down an opponent without attempting to grasp the player.

Barrett was initially facing at the mid-range penalty of a six-week suspension, which would have imperilled his World Cup selection, but the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee reduced the ban to three weeks.

Barrett will serve the suspension in Mitre Ten Cup matches and be able to play after September 1.

In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Adam Casselden SC ruled the following: 

"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." 

"With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 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 3 weeks."

"The Foul Play Review Committee adjourned the hearing to seek more evidence regarding the Player's proposed schedule of matches. Upon reconvening the Foul Play Review Committee was presented with extensive evidence demonstrating the Player's intended playing schedule."

"The player is therefore suspended for 3 weeks, up to and including Sunday 1 September 2019.”