Keith Wood Says There’s A Case For van der Westhuizen Not Being Involved This Weekend

“It’s just daft.”

Former Ireland international Keith Wood has branded England’s decision to draft in Marius van der Westhuizen this week as “daft.”

The legendary hooker reckons the idea of a having a referee train with you is excellent. But feels the decision to bring in someone who’s going to be an official in your game this weekend is crazy.

Woos says there was a serious lack of forethought from England in bringing him in, and has questioned World Rugby for allowing it to happen.

“Whatever about frustrating, I think the idea of having a referee train with you is excellent. But who in their right mind thought it was appropriate for the touch judge for the game that’s coming up to be involved in the training session?” Wood said on Off The Ball.

“I mean the lack of forethought both from the English side and from World Rugby’s referees to allow that to happen, it’s just daft and I think it puts the additional scrutiny on the referees and they’re under great scrutiny anyway.”   

“I think there’s a case for him not being involved in the weekend.” 

England meanwhile, feel they have done nothing wrong. Asked if using the South African was appropriate given his presence at Twickenham on Saturday, England defence coach Paul Gustard said:

“Why wouldn’t it be?

“So they (Ireland) will be questioning his integrity? You could see it the other way, couldn’t you? What if it goes against us.

“He’s an international referee. He is one of the best referees. You’re asking someone to come in here and assist in training, give his viewpoint on things.

“It’s no different to if someone from Ireland rang up to give his viewpoint on things. They have the same access. I see no issue with it at all.

“This had been long in the pipeline. It is all part of understanding different referees, how they referee things.

“We have a relationship with the English referees that assist us. The opportunity to get other foreign referees in to give their viewpoint in how they see things is important for our growth as a squad.”

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