McCaw said yesterday that he got “a poke in the eye” in the World Cup final but is not sure if it was deliberate eye-gouging.
However, last night Sky Sport show Reunion screened video which showed Rougerie clashing heads with McCaw in the 77th minute before dragging his fingers across the openside’s face.
Reunion panellist Grant Nisbett said the images were “damning”, while former All Black halfback Jon Preston said it was “indefensible”.
No complaint has been made by the All Blacks about any alleged eye-gouging of McCaw towards the end of last Sunday’s match, an incident commentator Keith Quinn says upset the world champions.
But both McCaw and forwards coach Steve Hansen seemed relatively unfazed when asked about the incident during yesterday’s victory parade in central Christchurch.
“I got a poke in the eye. I don’t know if it was intentional, it was pretty quick,” McCaw said.
He said it was “fine” when the final whistle went and he was “just happy we won”. “I’m not too worried about it at the moment”
No action is likely now. The All Blacks have not lodged a complaint and an IRB spokesperson confirmed yesterday that the citing period for the game was over.
Quinn claimed while the incident could be seen, his information came from someone “very close to the New Zealand team”, he said.
“McCaw received medical attention for several minutes and then gets up, you can clearly see it on TV, he speaks to the referee, which looks like reference to the incident,” Quinn said. He thought it explained why New Zealand and French players didn’t embrace at the end of the game or trade pleasantries in the speeches.