Rugby

Lawrence: I was hounded out

2012-10-17 09:00
Bryce Lawrence (Gallo)
London - Retired referee Bryce Lawrence has claimed he was hounded out of rugby by Australia and South Africa following his performance in last year's Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

Lawrence, 41, has also revealed his performance in that game in Wellington was influenced by behind-the-scenes complaints from Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill.

"I had four really good games at the World Cup and then I had that," New Zealander Lawrence told the Bay Of Plenty Times.

"There was some pretty nasty political stuff going on about that appointment. I refereed Australia versus Ireland and Ireland had won but behind the scenes guys like John O'Neill were kicking up a massive stink.

"I knew a bit about that and it was enough to affect me, and it probably made me freeze on the biggest stage."

Australia beat South Africa in Wellington and the fall-out from that match led directly to Lawrence deciding to retire and take up a role as the New Zealand Rugby Union high-performance referee reviewer.

Lawrence was stood down from the International Rugby Board's elite panel after the World Cup and he did not take charge of any Super Rugby matches in South Africa.

"It (the reaction) got pretty bad," Lawrence said.

"On Facebook they launched a 'get rid of Bryce Lawrence' site and it was pretty nasty.

"That was absolutely the reason for my career change.

"I got told at the end of the World Cup that I would have a break from Test rugby for the Six Nations and I could totally accept that as there has to be a consequence for poor performance.

"I was told I would be brought back in the middle of this year, as I was ranked in the top three or four referees in the world. But because of the political reaction from rugby unions like Australia and South Africa behind the scenes, they dropped me."

Last month, British and Irish Lions c–oach Warren Gatland highlighted the pressure Lawrence had been placed under by O'Neill as he outlined the challenges that await his team in Australia.

O'Neill last week resigned from his post at the ARU to focus on business interests outside rugby.


NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
115 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

The All Blacks' demolition of the Wallabies in Auckland has laid down a marker in this year's Rugby Championship. New Zealand's title wrapped up?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.