Refs to front at post match media conferences
2/10/2010 6:00 AMPhotosport
Major rethink for rugby’s referees who will attend post-match media conferences in future to be held accountable for their performances
A desire to see an all round improvement in rugby has resulted in a major shift in thinking from referees.
Whistle-blowers are about to be made more accountable for their performances by fronting up to post-match media conferences.
NZRU refs boss Lyndon Bray says while some have been reluctant to do so in the past, they have come to an agreement they need to be available to the public. He says it is an important step which brings them into line with the players and coaches.
Lyndon says he is also working with IRB refs boss Paddy O’Brien and a newly appointed European referee head to get uniformity of rule interpretations across both hemispheres.
Rugby’s rule makers are going on the offensive in a bid to stamp out illegal play and make the game more appealing.
Bray says the feedback from coaches is that it has taken too long in the past for there to be any real consequence for constant infringing. He says this season they need to get players complying with the rules early so it may be a case of going beyond penalties. He expects yellow cards to be used earlier to force players into a change of behaviour.
A really interesting move. Don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I reckon this would be a good move for us too. We are becoming more accountable in the public space for what we do. We have regular reviews and updates with our management on the Referee Unit and a free exchange of views with Directors of Rugby and co after games, so this seems to be a natural next step. Ive forgotten how many times Ive wanted to contribute to public comment on media websites etc, but have held my tongue (or finger!). Be interested to see how this S14 trial works.