Referee Pascal Gauzere admits to making mistakes in England’s defeat to Wales

Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent
·2-min read

Referee Pascal Gauzere has admitted to making mistakes in England’s 40-24 Guinness Six Nations defeat by Wales on Saturday.

Gauzere has spoken to World Rugby’s head of match officials Joel Jutge about “two unfortunate events” as Eddie Jones’ team saw their title defence come to an end at the Principality Stadium.

The French official awarded Wales two controversial tries in the first half that enabled the hosts to power into a commanding 17-6 lead.

Josh Adams leaps high to catch Dan Biggar's kick for Wales' disputed first try
Josh Adams leaps high to catch Dan Biggar’s kick for Wales’ disputed first try (David Davies/PA)

For Josh Adams’ opener, Gauzere told England captain Owen Farrell to speak to his team over their discipline and then quickly restarted play, allowing Dan Biggar to hoist the scoring crossfield kick.

And the second try on the half-hour mark was also highly dubious as Louis Rees-Zammit appeared to knock on during the build-up.

“I believe one has to be transparent and not let things drag on and say what one thinks,” Jutge told Midi Olympique.

“There were two unfortunate events during the match which were tough cases to handle. Pascal Gauzere recognised as such when he spoke to me on the phone.

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“With regard to the second try, I think there is a tendency to refer to the TMO too often when one can make the call oneself on the pitch and stick with it, which if Pascal had whistled for a knock-on there would have meant no appeal by the TMO to review it.

“Pascal was the first to admit to this when he re-watched the match on Sunday. When one commits an error one should be transparent about it. Despite this he is still an excellent international referee.”

England have chosen not to submit a formal complaint to World Rugby over the two tries and were ultimately well beaten despite the blunders, the first of which was described by their former captain Martin Johnson as “absolutely appalling”.