Henry calls for referee structure review - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henry calls for referee structure review

29/04/2009 04:31:42 PM Comments (0)

All Black rugby coach Graham Henry has proposed changes to the international refereeing structure, saying that the results of some Super 14 matches had been a lottery.

"I think it is the major area that we need to work on," he said of refereeing standards.

"Everybody in the game needs to get behind that."

Henry advocated the establishment of an international panel of referees that would work under one coach and come under one administration.

"They would be answerable to only one boss and I think that would help," he said.

"I think that would produce consistency of performance and competition among referees to get better."

Henry also suggested that, at international level, referees and assistant referees should come from separate pools, so there wasn't competition between people in the two positions.

"Maybe the referee and the two assistants become a team and they work together for the international rugby games that they officiate in," he said.

"I think that would produce the ability to work together, to get to understand each other, build a relationship."

Henry's viewing of the Super 14 so far this season had led him to the conclusion that the better games were generally those controlled by the better referees.

Some games had "become a wee bit of a lottery, which is disappointing".

His main complaints related to the usual areas of contention - the scrum, where there were too many resets, and the breakdown.

He didn't believe the state of refereeing in the Super 14 was related to the decision this year to dispense with having neutrals for all matches in the tournament.

He also didn't believe it was the result of having to adjust to the experimental law variations (ELVs).

"I think we hide behind the laws quite a bit, rather than trying to work hard and improving the officiating."

Henry said he had spoken to the International Rugby Board's referees boss, New Zealander Paddy O'Brien, about his ideas and had received a positive reception.

But he had no idea when such a plan might come into action, saying at the moment it was "just my view".

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