South Africa 27-38 New Zealand
Hansen thanks de Villiers over substitute shambles
ESPN Staff
October 7, 2013
The on-field debate continues © Getty Images

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has thanked South Africa's captain Jean de Villiers for the manner in which he handled a substitute mess in their Rugby Championship decider on Saturday.

New Zealand reserve hooker Dane Coles was at the heart of the shambles when, 20 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute, referee Nigel Owens asked why he was playing as his name was not on the official team sheet. All Blacks manager Darren Shand sheepishly informed Owens that he had made a typing error.

After an on-field discussion, de Villiers said the game should proceed with Coles allowed to remain.

"The team list thing was a human error," Hansen told Beeld. "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 [him] for the sportsmanship he portrayed in that moment."

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