Bryce 'was final straw'
Johannesburg - The Lions’ squad members will play against each other on Friday to gain match fitness and get to grips with the laws that referees will be focusing on during the competition.
And assistant Johan Ackermann said the breakdowns would be strictly umpired following Kiwi referee Bryce Lawrence’s controversial handling of the breakdowns in the Springboks’ defeat to Australia in last year’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final.
"That was apparently the final straw and referees were told to improve the umpiring of the breakdowns," Ackermann said.
Assistant referees at Super Rugby level would also be called upon to monitor the offside lines at the ruck and maul and infringements close to the touchline.
The coach said the offside line would receive greater attention from referees during this Super Rugby competition.
This year could be a deciding one for the future of the scrums as teams have been warned to straighten up this area of the game.
It is understood that referees have been told to reduce the amounts of restarts by 20% or radical changes could be introduced which would change this facet of the game.