Bryce Lawrence wary of refereeing in SA

New Zealand rugby referee Bryce Lawrence says he won’t officiate in South Africa should he fear for his safety after his performance at October’s World Cup quarterfinal between the Springboks and Australia.

Lawrence’s control of the October 9 quarterfinal, won 11-9 by Australia to end South Africa’s reign as world champions, was strongly criticised by Springbok players, coaching staff and fans.

Retiring Springbok captain John Smit said “the one positive [of retirement] is that I won’t ever have to be reffed by him again” and a South African fan began a Facebook campaign entitled: Petition to stop Bryce Lawrence ever reffing a rugby game again.

Lawrence said in a radio interview on Wednesday he would not referee in South Africa “if there’s any personal threat or I have concerns about my safety”.—Sapa-AP

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