Sam Cane handed suspension after red card in World Cup final

Sam Cane has been handed a three-match ban
Sam Cane has been handed a three-match ban

New Zealand skipper Sam Cane has been handed a three-week suspension following his red-card incident in the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa.

Cane was initially sin-binned around the half-hour mark after making direct contact with the head of South Africa centre Jesse Kriel which was later upgraded to a red card. His absence proved decisive as the All Blacks went on to lose the final by a 11-12 margin.

The 31-year-old faced an independent World Rugby disciplinary panel and has been handed a three-game suspension which could be reduced by a game if he successfully completes the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme. He will now miss the opening two matches for his new side Suntory Sungoliath in Japan.

“It’s hard to find the words to explain it,” Cane said after the final against the Springboks.

“It’s hard because I’m feeling so much hurt but proud because of the way we fought back.

“It speaks volumes of the group as a whole. A fantastic group of men who care so much about the All Blacks. There’s a lot of heartbreak in the shed and it’s hard. It’s something unfortunately I’m going to have to live with for ever.”