Ireland Make Plea To Referee Wayne Barnes Ahead Of Six Nations Clash With Wales

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby urged referee Wayne Barnes to focus on the legality of Wales’ tactics at the breakdown this Friday.

The English referee was highly criticised for his interpretation of the rolling away law at the breakdown when the two sides met in the Six Nations in Cardiff two years ago. Barnes twice penalised Ireland on the Welsh line, when a maul collapsed en-route to the line and later when a scrum collapsed.

Sean O’Brien at the time was none to pleased with the referee:

“You can’t say anything to that man. He’s not open to any kind of feedback. We’ve learned that in the past.”

Ahead of Friday’s clash, Easterby is looking for some consistency from the Englishman.

“In the contact area there’s a lot going on for a referee. We’re not saying we want everything to be picked up, just consistency,” Easterby said.

While Barnes will have a huge influence on the game, Easterby hopes Ireland’s discipline will prevail.

He obviously has a massive part to play in the game, but we’re looking to be disciplined at scrum and line-out time.”
Wayne Barnes is an excellent referee. He has massive experience now and we feel really confident that having him in the middle at the weekend will allow the game to flow.
“We can’t come off the back of a game and say ‘this and that’. We need to make sure we deal with that in the moment and don’t lose too much focus on what we have to do.

Ireland and Wales both name their teams tomorrow ahead of the clash at 8.00pm on Friday.


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