Scott Barrett cleared for World Cup opener after sending-off against Boks

Scott Barrett cleared for World Cup opener after sending-off against Boks

All Blacks lock Scott Barrett will be free to face France in the Rugby World Cup opener at the Stade de France on September 8.

Barrett was in danger of missing the clash through suspension, but World Rugby have confirmed that he will not be sanctioned further after his sending-off against South Africa.

The 29-year-old forward was shown two yellow cards during the warm-up fixture against the Springboks at Twickenham, which South Africa won 35-7.

His first yellow card was for repeated team infringements, while his second came after he recklessly targeted Malcolm Marx with a swinging arm to the head in the ruck.

The Foul Play Review Officer during the game judged that Barrett's second yellow card did not meet the red card threshold, and the independent Judicial Committee that he faced on Monday agreed.

Meanwhile, All Blacks coach Ian Foster has urged their supporters not to panic in the wake of their worst-ever defeat in Test rugby.

"We're not panicking about that result," said Foster. "We knew we were going to get challenged. It's not the result we wanted. But I still believe in the plan.

"The group that we needed to play all played - Scott (Barrett) not as long as I would have liked - a fortnight out from a big test and at least we have a good litmus test of where we're at.

"In many ways it was a perfect storm. We had seven players who hadn't played in four weeks. They needed this game. I thought we looked rusty and quite frankly South Africa were outstanding in terms of how they pressured us in the areas they wanted to. That coincided with the red card (to Scott Barrett), and there goes the game.

"It was still a game we needed. We'll make sure we use that really well in a fortnight's time."

Foster revealed that despite their heavy defeat against South Africa, there was still plenty of positivity in the All Blacks camp ahead of their World Cup campaign.

"I think we're confident. It didn't look like that, and I know we got a good spanking. We're not hiding from that," he said, before saying their decision to field their best available line-up against the Boks was one they would "live and die by".

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