Nigel Owens calls for World Rugby to make big change following World Cup final
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Legendary former referee Nigel Owens has called for World Rugby to ditch the bunker review system which was in place for the duration of the Rugby World Cup.
The system was brought in for rugby’s showpiece event after World Rugby deemed it was successful during the World U20s championship in South Africa but has been met with plenty of controversy.
The law allows referees to give players a yellow card once they deem it has met the threshold with the TMO then given eight minutes to decide if they card should be upgraded to a red card or not while a player is in the bin.
Owens cited the red card given to All Blacks captain Sam Cane in the final while stating that such key decisions should be made by the referee on the day.
“Whether you agree with Cane’s red card or not, the guy who should be making those key decisions should be the man in the middle,” Owens wrote in his column for WalesOnline.
“It shouldn’t be sent to a bunker. They’re not international referees, but they’re making international refereeing decisions.
“Wayne Barnes was appointed to referee that final because he was deemed the best person to referee that final. He’s the one who should be making those decisions.
“Certainly if I was reffing that game, there’s no way I’d want to send it to two people in the bunker to make that decision. It also means that now referees are no longer giving red cards themselves on field and to me that is wrong.
“What’s more, it’s not doing anything to eliminate the controversy. At the moment there are red cards being given for highly contentious incidents, and it’s in danger of spoiling the appeal of the game for supporters.
“I also think that when you have these sorts of red cards dished out for debatable decisions, it does open referees up to the sort of abuse we’ve seen recently.
“That’s not to excuse it in any way. It’s still utterly wrong. But when there’s controversy, everyone’s going to have an opinion and that’s inevitably going to be taken too far by some.”
What do you think?? Should World Rugby ditch the bunker system?