LONDON (Reuters) – England coach Eddie Jones has described the red card shown to All Blacks lock Scott Barrett at the weekend as “ridiculous” and warned such decisions could wreck the World Cup in Japan.
Barrett was sent off for a shoulder charge to the head of Australia captain Michael Hooper during New Zealand’s 47-26 loss to the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday.
“I thought it was ridiculous mate,” Jones said after England beat Wales 33-19 in a World Cup warm-up at Twickenham on Sunday.
“A bloke gets tackled, he goes to be second man in, and his shoulder hits his head and he gets a red card. We can’t have that in the game. There’s got to be some common sense.”
Global governing body World Rugby have this year ordered referees to dismiss players for dangerous tackles in the head and neck area, regardless of intent, as they look to make the game safer.
Jones said that two incidents in the England-Wales game on Sunday could have resulted in dismissals under the harshest interpretation of the law and called for some consistency in its application during the Sept. 20-Nov. 3 World Cup.
“We saw a red card yesterday which affected the game,” the Australian added.
“We need to get some consistency into that area of the game. In the World Cup if you lose a player through a red card as New Zealand did yesterday, it makes the game very difficult.
“I thought we saw two instances today where that could have happened.
“I urge World Rugby — although I don’t think they do anything at great pace — to get some consistency in that area because otherwise we will have games being destroyed by an inconsistent official making a decision on a law that’s not clear.”
Barrett faced a judicial review on Sunday and could be suspended for up to six weeks.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Peter Rutherford)