Changes to the Rugby World Cup refereeing are demanded by Sir Clive Woodward and Eddie Jones.

Changes to the Rugby World Cup refereeing are demanded by Sir Clive Woodward and Eddie Jones.

Following a responsible first week of the competition in France, Sir Clive Woodward and Eddie Jones have given their assessments of the Rugby World Cup officiating.

Eddie Jones’ claim that world rugby is becoming “too powerful” prompted Sir Clive Woodward to argue that referees should be held more accountable and transparent in their decisions.

The 67-year-old Woodward bemoaned the inconsistent head contact decision-making and acknowledged that the officials have not had a good Rugby World Cup thus far.
Tom Curry of England, Romain Taofifenua, Jesse Kriel, and Martin Sigren were all involved in high tackles or head contact, but their punishments varied.

Woodward believes that the officials should be able to speak to the media in order to explain how they arrived at their decision, as this would add some “much-needed transparency”. The former England center, meanwhile, is hoping that as time passes, attention will shift away from the referees.

“Referees have a tough job, and we all make mistakes,” Woodward told the Daily Mail.
What I’d prefer to see, however, is increased accountability, with those in charge of making decisions on the field as well as those who sit on disciplinary panels off it coming forward to discuss their reasoning.

“I fail to understand why the media shouldn’t be permitted to speak with referees or other match officials after the game.
That would, in my opinion, increase much-needed transparency.

It would also provide some insight into the decision-making process for fans who are perplexed by what is happening.
In the pool games this weekend, hopefully the emphasis on the refereeing decreases.

Coach Jones of Australia stated that more inconsistent behavior at the competition has put the Television Match Official process in jeopardy.
“World Rugby tried to make the game safer, but by increasing the number of stoppages in play, they’ve actually increased the game’s power,” said Jones.
Additionally, when a game gets stronger, there is a risk involved.

The 30-second bursts of unstoppable power are how the game is changing.
Whoever can prevail in those power struggles will determine who wins this World Cup. The game must be played continuously.
With an average ball-in-play time of 30 seconds and a break between innings of 70 seconds, you encourage power plays. We require more nonstop play.

Prior to England’s match against Japan, coach Steve Borthwick also shared his thoughts.
“I also note that during our preparation for this tournament, World Rugby commented on Owen Farrell a great deal for a couple of weeks,” he added.

“World Rugby made numerous comments throughout the situation, which dragged on for days.
I’ve noticed that, according to what I’ve been told, World Rugby hasn’t made many comments lately. World Rugby will handle that, not me.


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