Rugby Championship

Coetzee to meet with referee Owens

2016-09-08 10:53
Allister Coetzee

Cape Town - The Springboks are likely to have a pre-Test meeting with referee Nigel Owens ahead of their Brisbane Test.

Springboks coach Allister Coetzee said the side welcomed the opportunity to meet with Owens ahead of the match. The South Africans requested the meeting take place though the Wallabies are yet to make a call on whether they will be there.

"We do have an opportunity to do that if you should request," Coetzee told the official Australian Rugby Union website.

"I think it's just great to - if you don’t even discuss any tactical stuff, just to say hi to the guy and just meet him before the game."

The pre-Test meetings have been somewhat of a sore point for the Wallabies, with the ARU filing a complaint to World Rugby after All Blacks coach Steve Hansen allegedly met with referee Romain Poite before their 29-9 Bledisloe Test win in Wellington.

That followed a similar concern in June when Eddie Jones met with Poite leading into the series opener earlier this season, though a miscommunication was the issue in that case.   

Under World Rugby regulations, if teams request a meeting with a referee before a Test, an invitation should be extended to the opposition to attend, though the opponent can refuse.   

Hansen denied the meeting took place, saying he had met with assistant referee Jaco Peyper in the week ahead of that Test, something that does not have to be open to both sides.

Cheika said on Thursday that he wasn’t sure whether he would meet with the referee but that was an ongoing discussion.

"They (South Africa) would be going through the referees’ liaison," he said.

"When they do decide, we'll decide what we're going to do from there."   

The Wallabies mentor said that decision-making process, though, would be kept under wraps.   

"We'll keep that amongst the coaching staff for the moment because I think things are getting organised around that," he said.

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