All Black flanker Adam Thomson sits on the sideline after
being sinbinned during the test against Scotland at
Murrayfield in Edinburgh. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty
All Black coach Steve Hansen has leapt to the defence of
flanker Adam Thomson, whose place on New Zealand's tour of
Europe is in doubt following an unsavoury incident during the
test win over Scotland at Murrayfield.
Thomson's foot made contact with the exposed head of Scotland
flanker Alasdair Strokosch in the 45th minute of New
Zealand's 51-22 win on Monday morning.
The 30-year-old was sent to the sin bin by French referee
Jerome Garces on the advice of Irish touch judge Simon
Hansen anticipated the incident would be reviewed and hoped
Thomson's intent would be considered.
"I don't think it was a stomping personally but it's not for
me to decide," Hansen told journalists.
"Someone will look at the game and make a decision whether
what he did had malicious intent or whether it was reckless.
I'd suggest it will probably be reckless.
"It looked like he got frustrated because someone was lying
on the ball and he placed his foot on the guy's head. He
didn't stomp him, which was one good thing."
Scotland coach Andy Robinson responded in the affirmative
when asked if a boot to the head should result in a red card.
However, Strokosch said he was happy with the sanction
"It certainly wasn't malicious. There was no damage done. He
barely grazed it," the Scotland No 6 said.
"I would say the yellow card's fine. I wouldn't take it any
further. It wasn't a big deal."
While Thomson's availability for the remaining three tests of
the tour is in doubt, it is also unclear where he will play
his rugby next year.
The 29-Test Otago loose forward hasn't signed a Super Rugby
contract for 2013 but he is also yet to secure an offshore