Great News! Bryce Lawrence has been axed from the IRB Referees Panel and Paddy O'Brien steps down to take over similar role with IRB Rugby 7's
I wouldn't normally post anything on a Saturday if you know the Friday nights I have, but EISH! I think this calls for a massive exception The interweb is a blaze at the moment with official reports by the IRB that Bryce Lawrence has been axed from its elite referees panel. And the news doesn't get any better than when it comes directly from the horse's mouth of course.
Earlier this morning the IRB unveiled its referee restructure plan and the biggest news coming out of it is the fact the Bryce Lawrence "NZ Referee Of The Year" mind you, has been axed from its panel of elite referees, secondly Paddy O'Brien has been shifted to take over a similar role in the IRB Rugby Sevens. I can tell you now that everyone supporting the Bryce Lawrence Facebook Petition Page that is reading right now, is smiling rather sweetly
So basically what's the deal with all this?
As part of an ongoing review, the IRB has appointed a committee that will oversee referee selections based on merit and performance. The committee, which includes former elite referees Lyndon Bray, Tappe Henning (both SANZAR), Donal Courtney and Clayton Thomas (both Six Nations), will meet four times a year to discuss referee selections for the forthcoming international window in the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2015. To be honest, I welcome this with open arms and think its a brilliant idea that is brilliant for Rugby. Finally referees will be under a strict selection process which will be based on performance just like players, so that only the best referees will be reffing the big games. I guess the whole aim of this is that come Rugby World Cup 2015, the referee panel will be the best of best, kinda like the Top Gun of Rugby Referees, so that we hopefully won't have a repeat of the dog show that we saw over the last Rugby World Cup. I'm glad that the IRB have listened to the calls of their supporters and made a good effort to have a stricter selection process in place with regards to Refs, well done chaps. For more info on this, see the article posted at IRB.com
So there you have it, AWESOME result!
Bit of a double whammy since I know a massive amount of people are just as glad to see Paddy go, all in all, Rugby is definitely the winner today!
I know this is going to be a great topic of conversation when I meet up with John Smit, Schalk Brits and Neil De Kock on Thursday. <<< Check it out!