New Zealand Rugby
McCaw breaks eye-gouge silence
ESPNscrum Staff
December 6, 2011
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw answers a question, Heritage Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand, October 22, 2011
Richie McCaw has spoken out on the incident from the World Cup final © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Richie McCaw | Aurelien Rougerie
Teams: New Zealand

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw has broken his silence on the alleged eye-gouge that he was on the receiving end of during the World Cup final.

New Zealand television, a few days after the final, showed slow-motion replays of the incident which appeared to show French centre Aurelien Rougerie make contact with McCaw's eye. The International Rugby Board did not take action over the incident as it came to light after the 36-hour period allowed for a citing to take place. The IRB have since announced they will evaluate extending this timeframe.

And McCaw has admitted the incident was "filthy" and has expressed his surprise that the IRB failed to act. "The French are worse when they are scared ... They were as bad as they have been and were going for the eyes," he said. "My eye was a bit sore for a while and I was struggling to see for a bit. I was surprised they didn't cite him."

McCaw was speaking at a fundraiser in Christchurch and conceded that he was half-blinded for the last few minutes of their World Cup final. And in the aftermath of their triumph, the 30-year-old admitted that they broke "every single one" of the rules surrounding the World Cup. The rules stipulates that the William Webb Ellis cup is never supposed to be alone, no-one is allowed to drink from it nor consume near it.

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