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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 30 March, 2020

Richie McCaw speaks out on French eye-gouging incident... finally

Seven weeks on, the All Blacks captain has admitted he was surprised no action was taken after the Rugby World Cup final

McCaw lifting the Webb Ellis Cup
McCaw lifting the Webb Ellis Cup
Image: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

IT SEEMS THAT Richie McCaw has changed his tune over France’s questionable tactics during the Rugby World Cup final.

The All Blacks captain had previously played down the alleged eye-gouging by French centre Aurelien Rougerie but speaking at a charity breakfast in Christchurch nearly two months on, he has branded their play as “filthy”.

“The French are worse when they are scared,” Fairfax media reported the flanker as saying, “They were as bad as they have been and were going for the eyes.

“My eye was a bit sore for awhile and I was struggling to see for a bit. I was surprised they didn’t cite them.”

In the aftermath of the 23 October final, which New Zealand won 8-7 to clinch their first World Cup title in 24 years, little was made of the incident until video footage released by Sky Television in New Zealand appeared to show evidence of Rougerie gouging the face of McCaw.

Last month, the IRB stated that they would review whether the period in which a player can be cited, which is currently 36 hours, should be extended to allow for delayed evidence.

Watch video footage of the incident below:

YouTube credit: Murasakioo7

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Ben Blake

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