Why no Kiwi refs in the Rugby Championship?
With the Rugby Championship about to kick off next week, I ask a question. Is there a problem with the way New Zealand referees referee?
The IRB have just announced the referee list for the upcoming competition, and there is not a Kiwi in sight.
The Southern Hemisphere has undoubtedly the best, the hardest played and hardest fought competition in world rugby with the Super Rugby competition.
The referees who officiate those games – several of whom are from New Zealand – are considered generally to be the best.
It therefore irks me to find than when the southern hemisphere’s premier international annual rugby competition takes place, the IRB makes excuses to bring referees Rolland (Ireland), Owens (Wales), Barnes (England), Poite (France) to join three of our southern refs, Peyper (SA), Jubert (SA) and Walsh (Australia).
Aside from the inclusion of the northern refs, what has happened to those from New Zealand.
Is this an insult or arrogance by the appointers to suggest that the New Zealand referees are not up to the standard of the northern ones?
Refereeing judgement calls displayed at the last two Rugby World Cups by the above northern referees were in many cases were found wanting.
Referees make mistakes, but have New Zealand referees made so many more mistakes than those appointed that they are either incapable or too incompetent to referee in their own patch and in their southern competition?
There are new rules and amendments being introduced, but there is then an implication that New Zealand referees are too slow on the uptake to adapt to the new rules.
Referee manager Paddy O’Brien suggests that the motive is to bring through a crop of referees with one eye on the 2015 Rugby World Cup. For me, that excuse doesn’t cut it.
There are several competent referees from the New Zealand stable that could have been appointed and introduced into the Paddy O’Brien thinking.
At least there can be no call of bias made if New Zealand win the Rugby Championship.
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