South Africa wing Arendse suspended for 4 weeks

August 8, 2022 GMT
New Zealand's captain Sam Cane, left, is challenged by South Africa's Kurt-Lee Arendse during the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
New Zealand's captain Sam Cane, left, is challenged by South Africa's Kurt-Lee Arendse during the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
New Zealand's captain Sam Cane, left, is challenged by South Africa's Kurt-Lee Arendse during the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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New Zealand's captain Sam Cane, left, is challenged by South Africa's Kurt-Lee Arendse during the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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New Zealand's captain Sam Cane, left, is challenged by South Africa's Kurt-Lee Arendse during the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa wing Kurt-Lee Arendse was suspended for four weeks on Monday for his highly dangerous mid-air tackle on New Zealand flyhalf Beauden Barrett in the Rugby Championship opener.

Arendse was given a red card after the 74th-minute incident on Saturday and also taken off on a stretcher with a suspected concussion. He will only be available again for the Springboks’ last game of the Rugby Championship at home to Argentina.

Arendse misses this Saturday’s second game against New Zealand in Johannesburg — which he was likely out for anyway with a head injury — along with two tests in Australia and one on Argentina.

The Springboks beat the All Blacks 26-10, with Arendse scoring the opening try in just his second test.

He was already standing in for the injured Cheslin Kolbe at right wing.

Rugby Championship organizer SANZAAR said Arendse pleaded guilty and the disciplinary committee found his tackle on Barrett was “reckless” and “highly dangerous.” Barrett was spun upside down after being smashed into as he jumped high to catch a kick and landed on his head and neck.

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The All Blacks flyhalf was cleared of any serious neck injury but is a doubt for the second game on Saturday at Ellis Park, where struggling New Zealand is staring at a sixth loss in seven games which would likely see coach Ian Foster lose his job.

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