Source: James Crombie/INPHO
ENGLAND COACH EDDIE Jones has urged World Rugby to clamp down on a failure by Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones to “respect the integrity of the referee”.
The Australian was angered by the way in which Jones stood in front of Finn Russell and so prevented the Scotland fly-half from converting Pete Horne’s late try in last weekend’s Six Nations clash in Cardiff while the television match official reviewed the score.
Attacking teams have been known to rush conversions when there is a lingering doubt over the preceding try as, once a kick has been taken, it is too late to overturn the initial decision.
Although it did not affect the result, with Wales winning 34-7, points difference could yet play a role in the destiny of the Championship.
British and Irish Lions lock Jones exchanged words with both Russell and French referee Pascal Gauzere before retreating behind his posts.
In rugby the captain — and technically only the captain — is allowed to talk to the referee.
But ahead of what is sure to be a hard-fought England-Wales clash at Twickenham this Saturday, Eddie Jones added fuel to the fire by suggesting the Welsh skipper had gone over the top in Cardiff.
Out of order
Source: Tommy Dickson
“I thought that was right out of order,” said the England coach.
“When he tried to stop the referee from allowing the kick at goal — we can’t have that in the game.”
The former Australia and Japan coach added: “That’s borrowed from another sport and I really hope World Rugby don’t allow that to creep into the game because it shouldn’t be part of the game.
“All we say is just to be respectful. At times players lose their cool, but that was a contrived bit of behaviour.
“It’s not great for the game and I’ve said something to World Rugby about it, I feel that strongly.
“We’ve got to respect the integrity of the referee in the game because we’ve got one of the most difficult games to referee. And the game only gets more complex.
“It doesn’t get any easier. There’s more density around the ball. The players are bigger, faster, stronger. There’s quicker decisions from the referee to make.
“And if we don’t respect the integrity of the game we’re going to lose part of it.”
Another French official in Jerome Garces will be in charge at Twickenham as England, fresh from a 46-15 win over Italy in Rome on Sunday, continue their bid to become the first side to win three successive outright Six Nations titles.
Big match Garces
Source: Morgan Treacy
And Eddie Jones was confident Garces would not allow the Wales captain to “intimidate him”.
“Garces is a very experienced referee. He’s got plenty of big match experience, he knows how to handle interesting moments in games,” he insisted.
“He won’t let Alun Wyn Jones intimidate him. Garces won’t tolerate that sort of stuff. He won’t let Alun Wyn Jones referee the game.
“We say to our players just to be respectful. You’ve still got to respect the integrity of the referee.”
Some observers believe the increasing use of replays and the expanding role of the television match official has led to a rise in player protests and a reduction in the authority of the whistle-blower in the middle.
But Eddie Jones said: “All that video work is to help the referee make the correct decisions. So that’s to help them. And the players have got to play their role in that.”
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