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Darcy Swain branded an 'absolute coward' by ex-All Black

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Wallabies forward Darcy Swain has been branded ‘an absolute coward’ by former All Blacks flyhalf Lima Sopoaga after the latest news on the extent of New Zealand centre Quinn Tupaea’s knee injury.

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Swain was banned for the brutal ruck clearance that was adjudged to have deliberately targeted the leg and knee of the centre. It was a shot that saw the All Blacks midfielder crumple in immediate agony before being taken off the pitch.

Swain was shown a yellow card and after officials decided the incident met the red-card threshold.

The lock was suspended for six weeks and will miss Tests against Scotland and France in the Wallabies’ upcoming northern hemisphere tour.

Initial reports were that Tupaea would miss a couple of months but the NZR have now revealed that he will miss at least 9 months after the true extent of the injury became known.

The 23-year-old Waikato Chiefs player will miss the whole of next year’s Super Rugby season and could face a challenging time getting back into All Blacks reckoning in time for 2023’s Rugby World Cup in France.

A statement from the union reads: “Further scans have revealed more extensive damage to the ACL which will require surgery. Quinn will be out of rugby for 9 months, including the 2023 Super Rugby Season.”

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Lima Sopaaga took to Twitter to vent his frustration, both at Swain and at the relatively short amount of time he was banned for. “Swain is an absolute coward for this. Was no need for such a cheap shot. 9 months for 6 weeks seems fair, Joke of a suspension.”

The news will only increase the anger in New Zealand at Swain’s ruck cleanout, which All Blacks fullback Beauden Barrett described as a “free shot” on a defenceless Tupaea.

The same player was suspended for two weeks in July after being shown a red card for headbutting England second-rower Jonny Hill in retaliation for having his hair pulled.

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additional reporting AAP

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