No SA S15 matches for Bryce
Cape Town - Controversial New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence will not travel to South Africa to officiate Super Rugby matches after he refereed the Springboks in their 11-9 Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat against Australia.
South African rugby fans slammed Lawrence and blamed him for ending the Springboks reign as World Cup champions.
Lawrence received threats over email and on Facebook and was heavily criticised by Springbok captain John Smit and former World Cup final referee Andre Watson.
While Lawrence became public enemy No 1 in South Africa with rugby fans in SA, in New Zealand he won the NZRU Referee of the Year award for a fourth time.
According to the RugbyWeek website, Lawrence has been given his match schedule for the upcoming Super rugby series and Lawrence has revealed that he is not listed to control any games in South Africa.
Lawrence said that while he wanted to travel to South Africa to deal with the criticism and get that over and done with, he understands that SANZAR have left him off the list for South Africa as they do not want any distractions from their tournament.
SANZAR's referees boss Lyndon Bray could not be reached for comment, but it is understood that his organisation are fearful that fans might take matters into their own hands.
In 2002 during a Tri-Nations match in Durban between the Springboks and the All Blacks, South African fan Pieter van Zyl stormed on to the field and attacked Irish referee David McHugh who had to retire from the match with a dislocated shoulder.
That day there were 419 security officials at the match but Van Zyl managed to get on to the field and tackle McHugh to the ground and several Springboks and All Blacks had to drag him off McHugh including Richie McCaw who initially managed to get him to the ground.