All Blacks centre Malakai Fekitoa. Photo / Brett Phibbs
All Blacks centre Malakai Fekitoa. Photo / Brett Phibbs

All Blacks: Malakai Fekitoa suspended, Sam Cane cleared

THERE'S been mixed news for the All Blacks following citing hearings in London on Wednesday morning.

Malakai Fekitoa has been handed a one-match ban while Sam Cane has been cleared of foul play following Sunday's win over Ireland.

Fekitoa will not be available to play against France after being told at a disciplinary hearing that his high tackle on Simon Zebo against Ireland should have been a red and not a yellow card.

As a result, Fekitoa was handed a two-week suspension which has been reduced to one on account of his previously good disciplinary record and immediate acknowledgement on the field that he'd transgressed.

The disciplinary committee, appointed by World Rugby was chaired by Antony Davies of England, alongside Derek Bevan of Wales and John Doubleday of England).

After reviewing video footage and listening to evidence and representations from Fekitoa and people on his behalf, the panel concluded that Fekitoa's actions would have warranted a red card. They did, however, believe albeit that he had acted recklessly rather than intentionally.

Fekitoa is suspended until November 27 - ruling him out for the remainder of this season and the suspension means the All Blacks will most likely pair Ryan Crotty and Anton Leinert-Brown in their midfield against France.

Cane, who has already been ruled out of the France test due to injury, was cleared by the disciplinary committee. Cane clashed with Ireland's Robbie Henshaw and the Leinster midfield back was carried from the field on a stretcher as a results.

"The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Antony Davies (England), alongside Derek Bevan (Wales) and John Doubleday (England), having viewed video footage of the incident, listened to evidence and representations from and on behalf of the player, and reviewed all of the other evidence, concluded that Mr Cane's actions had been accidental and that he had not therefore committed an act of foul play," a statement read.

"The citing complaint was not upheld and Mr Cane is therefore free to resume playing immediately."

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