/ Rugby

Rougerie accused of eye-gouging

Updated: Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011 08:51

Aurelien Rougerie
Aurelien Rougerie

French centre Aurelien Rougerie has been accused of eye-gouging All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in the closing minutes of the World Cup final amid swirling speculation over the incident.

Video images releasedin New Zealand show Rougerie's fingers move across the eyes of McCaw who was lying trapped at the bottom of a ruck three minutes before the end of the game won by the All Blacks 8-7.

McCaw, who is leading the All Blacks on a victory tour through the main cities of New Zealand, confirmed he "got a poke in the eye" in Sunday's match but he did not know if it was deliberate.

All Blacks backrower Kieran Read told Television New Zealand he did not see the incident but "at the time, the skip said he was getting eye-gouged. Obviously something has happened."

Although eye-gouging can carry a six-month suspension, the All Blacks have played down the incident and said they do not want to make an issue of it.

An International Rugby Board spokesman also confirmed the citing period for the game was over.

Before departing New Zealand late Tuesday, the French management refused to comment on the allegations.

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