Referee quits after tweet ban

2013-04-22 13:11
Hugh Watkins (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Former referee Hugh Watkins was left shocked and disappointed after he was handed a 12-week suspension by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) for comments he made on Twitter.

VIDEO: Yellow card for Sevens final tip-tackle

According to the ESPN Scrum website, Watkins, who has been officiating for 20 years, handed in his resignation prior to the WRU hearing and was informed that as a result of his tweet, he is banned from officiating until September 1, 2013. The tweet related to the recent Hong Kong Sevens final between Wales and Fiji and a tackle in the first half.

Watkins queried a decision by the referee not to award a red card for what looked to be a serious tip tackle - Ilai Tinai received a yellow at the time for the hit on Lee Williams. Watkins tweeted: "Sorry that's a shocker. Had to be red no other option. We need referees to be consistent in this".

"I was watching the Sevens in Hong Kong and I made a comment on Twitter regarding one of the decisions. I said that was a shocker, it should have been a red. We referees need to be more consistent," Watkins explained. "Unfortunately Paddy O'Brien the IRB Sevens manager took a dislike to that.

Wales and British & Irish Lions prop Adam Jones hit out at the Welsh Rugby Union after the decision to suspend Watkins, tweeting: "Maybe If the WRU worried about themselves and the regions sorting their crap out and not banning a ref for tweeting we may get somewhere!"

Read more on:    wales  |  rugby

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