New Zealand 7s avoid sanction for fielding eight players

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

New Zealand's Sevens side have avoided any sanction for momentarily fielding eight players against Australia in a group stage match in the Sydney leg of the World Rugby Sevens series.

Hurricanes star Ardie Savea scored with the last play of the game with the conversion then sealing the Kiwi 7s a draw, and top spot in Pool A. But video footage later suggested New Zealand may have eight players on the field at the time, prompting the governing body to launch its investigation.

World Rugby has since looked into the incident and deemed it to be an "inadvertent breach" of the protocols.

"The investigation, undertaken by the designated disciplinary official, has determined that, while New Zealand did field eight players, it was an inadvertent breach as a consequence of a number of factors relating to the management of replacements involving a number of parties," the statement read.

"World Rugby's misconduct process caters for unsporting actions, cheating and ill-discipline which are at a level that bring or have the potential to bring the Game into disrepute. Having fully investigated the incident, the designated disciplinary officer has concluded that the laying of a misconduct charge is not appropriate or warranted given the circumstances as the threshold had not, in his determination, been met."