French referee Pascal Gaüzère admits to mistakes during England's loss to Wales


French referee Pascal Gaüzère has admitted to making mistakes in his handling of England’s 40-24 defeat by Wales on Saturday.

Gaüzère has spoken to World Rugby’s head of match officials, Joel Jutge, about “two unfortunate events” as Eddie Jones’ team saw their Six Nations title defence come to an end at the Principality Stadium. The official awarded Wales two controversial tries in the first half that enabled the hosts to power into a commanding 17-6 lead.

For Josh Adams’ opener, Gaüzère told England’s captain, Owen Farrell, to speak to his team over their discipline and then quickly restarted play, allowing Dan Biggar to hoist the scoring crossfield kick. And the second try on the half-hour mark was also highly dubious as Louis Rees-Zammit appeared to knock on during the buildup.

“I believe one has to be transparent and not let things drag on and say what one thinks,” Jutge told the French newspaper Midi Olympique. “There were two unfortunate events during the match which were tough cases to handle. Pascal Gauzere recognised as such when he spoke to me on the phone.

“With regard to the second try, I think there is a tendency to refer to the TMO too often when one can make the call oneself on the pitch and stick with it, which if Pascal had whistled for a knock-on there would have meant no appeal by the TMO to review it.

“Pascal was the first to admit to this when he re-watched the match on Sunday. When one commits an error one should be transparent about it. Despite this he is still an excellent international referee.”

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England have chosen not to submit a formal complaint to World Rugby over the two tries and were ultimately well beaten despite the blunders, the first of which was described by their former captain Martin Johnson during punditry duties for the BBC as “absolutely appalling”.



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