Thursday, 18 August
All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett says he was relieved to be able to move his fingers and toes while lying on the ground at Mbombela Stadium after a “fearful” mid-air collision with Springbok winger Kurt-Lee Arendse.
READ | Bok winger Kurt-Lee Arendse suspended for 4 Tests
Good news for the All Blacks is that Barrett has seemingly escaped unharmed from the incident. He’s back in training with the team ahead of Saturday’s second encounter at Ellis Park.
However, in an interview with All Blacks TV, Barrett revealed that he immediately feared the worst when team’s support staff rushed to his aide.
“I did think of the worst instantly… I can’t remember who told me to stay still,” Barrett said. “It wasn’t until [the doctor] came on and asked me, ‘could I move my fingers and toes?’
“I was relieved I passed all those tests and eventually sat up and was able to walk off.
“There was a fearful period there for a minute or so when you think of the worst. It’s quite scary when you go over backwards and find yourself come down on your head and shoulders.
“It’s part of the game and, every time we go up for the high ball we’ve got to be courageous,” he said.
Barrett added that it was part and parcel of the game for chasers to make errors in judgments.
“They have intentions to get up but find themselves running into the person, which happened at the weekend.
“As escorters, the players in front of me are doing their best to protect me, but it’s not always the case.”
Barrett said they expected more high bombs from the Boks on Saturday.
“It’s a strength of South Africa’s because they cause carnage up in the air and they like to play off the spills,” he said.
The All Blacks team will be named on Thursday and Barrett is expected to be available for selection.