Top referees get IRB chop
South African referee Marius Jonker and England's Chris White have been axed from the group of the world's top match officials by the IRB, WRITES PETER BILLS.
Jonker, considered one of the top South African officials, has paid a heavy price for his handling of the Scotland-England 6 Nations match last month.
An IRB spokesman said tersely: "Marius's performance in the Scotland game was not acceptable. He must go back to the lower tier and demonstrate he has the ability to come to grips with these problems."
Long-serving English referee Chris White has been dropped altogether from the IRB's referee panel.
South African Jonker will be downgraded for six months to the 'A' list before IRB referee officials decide whether his subsequent performances have been radically improved.
It is a big blow for Jonker, but his performance at Edinburgh in the 6 Nations game was widely criticised. He failed to crack down on persistent infringements, failed to apply strictly the new interpretations of certain existing laws and was inconsistent in his decision making. The game was considered by far the worst of the northern hemisphere's recent 6 Nations tournament.