Saturday 16 December 2017

Rolland spared run-in with Wales

Controversial World Cup referee Alain Rolland has been spared any involvement in Wales' Six Nations campaign.

Rolland became public enemy No 1 in Wales after issuing Sam Warburton with a red card for a 'tip' tackle on Vincent Clerc in last month's World Cup semi-final loss to France.

The Dubliner was heavily criticised for the dismissal of the Welsh captain just 18 minutes into a highly-charged evening at Eden Park.

But IRB directives on such tackling indicate he was within his rights to send off Warburton.

Rolland has been given two games to oversee -- France v England on March 11 and Italy v Scotland on March 17 -- and will not be present at any Wales fixtures in the capacity of assistant referee or television match official.

France, however, will come face-to-face with the referee who did them few favours in their World Cup final against New Zealand.

Craig Joubert's performance in their 8-7 defeat came under scrutiny after the South African failed to punish several high tackles by the All Blacks, among other offences.

France No 8 Imanol Harinordoquy was one of those who felt Joubert contributed to his team's downfall in an epic final in Auckland.

"Joubert was only looking at us. Richie McCaw played the whole match in our camp. He did a lot of bad things and nobody told him anything," said Harinordoquy.

Joubert will oversee France's potentially decisive clash with Wales at the Millennium Stadium on March 17.

Irish Independent

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