World Rugby has issued a damning statement acknowledging that the performance of officials at the start of the World Cup has not consistently met the desired standards.
A number of controversial incidents were highlighted after the opening round of fixtures, with referee Jerome Garces facing fierce criticism over his handling of the Boks-All Blacks game.
In a rather unprecedented move by the game’s governing body, World Rugby has admitted it is taking steps to improve the standard of refereeing at the tournament.
‘Following the usual review of matches, the match officials team recognise that performances over the opening weekend of Rugby World Cup 2019 were not consistently of the standards set by World Rugby and themselves, but World Rugby is confident of the highest standards of officiating moving forward,’ a statement reads.
‘Elite match officials are required to make decisions in complex, high-pressure situations and there have been initial challenges with the use of technology and team communication, which have impacted decision-making. These are already being addressed by the team of 23 match officials to enhance consistency.
‘Given this proactive approach, a strong team ethic and a superb support structure, World Rugby has every confidence in the team to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2019 delivers the highest levels of accurate, clear and consistent decision-making.’
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