All Blacks laud Jean after typo

Nigel Owens and Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Nigel Owens and Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - All Black coach Steve Hansen has lauded Springbok captain Jean de Villiers for the manner in which he handled a substitute mishap in their Rugby Championship Test at Ellis Park on Saturday.

There was confusion when New Zealand brought on reserve hooker Dane Coles in the second half of the Test, which the All Blacks won 38-27.

Coles - who replaced Andrew Hore - had been playing for 20 minutes when referee Nigel Owens questioned why he was playing as his name was not on the official team list handed in before kick-off.

Keven Mealamu was listed as the reserve hooker, but New Zealand's team manager, Darren Shand, informed Owens that he had made a typing error.

Owens then called a quick on-field discussion with Shand, De Villiers, All Black skipper Richie McCaw and Springbok team manager Ian Schwartz to shed more light on the issue.

After some deliberation, De Villiers insisted that the game continued with Coles staying on the field.

Hansen was quick to praise the Bok captain for his sportsmanship afterwards.

"The team list thing was a human error," Hansen told the Beeld website. "Keven would never have played. It was wonderful that common sense prevailed. It doesn't matter that someone made such a mistake. Jean was terrific when he entered the discussion.

"All credit to Jean for the sportsmanship he portrayed in that moment."

De Villiers did, however, have a bit of a chuckle when he said points will be deducted from the All Blacks afterwards.

The All Blacks could be fined for the incident but SANZAR is not expected to dish out any further punishment.

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