Queensland Reds coach Eddie Jones has called on SANZAR, the governing body of the Super 14 competition, to implement a forum for reviewing officiating standards.
Jones labelled Australian referee Matt Goddard’s handling of Queensland’s 6-3 defeat to the Brumbies last weekend as ‘disgraceful’ and has since been called to defend his comments at a judicial hearing.
Despite the tribunal being postponed at the 11th hour for reasons Jones was not prepared to comment on, rather than retracting his outburst, the former Wallabies mentor went one step further – he pleaded with authorities to put referees under the same spotlight as coaches and players.
"Early last year there was a meeting between a select group of SANZAR coaches and SANZAR referees and an agreement was made that the referees would be at the post-match conference so that any queries about the game could be answered," Jones said after a closed session training session in Brisbane on Wednesday.
"When the next meeting of SANZAR was held that was rescinded."
"Every part of our game is under review. Coaches are under review all the time, players are under review all the time and we must have a forum to review referees as well."
"Rugby is becoming a contest game more and more. We’re getting 9-3s and 9-6s and they (referees) are having a significant part in the game."
"They decide games and we need to have the highest standard of referee."
The 10th-placed Reds travel to Auckland to meet playoff hopefuls the Blues in round four of the 2007 Super 14 competition.
Reds prop Greg Holmes will miss the trip after suffering a partial dislocation of his left shoulder in last Saturday’s torrid clash with the Brumbies powerhouse front-rower Ben Coutts expected to come into the team.
The other change in the pack sees hooker Ole Avei comes into the squad for Stephen Moore, who is out for at least four weeks with a knee injury.
In the backline, the return to full fitness of Caleb Brown could see teenager Brando Va’alu drop from the XV with emerging centre Peter Hynes expected to continue at 12 despite departing at half-time last week with a sprained ankle.
"In that 40 minutes he just showed something really special at 12," Reds captain John Roe said of Hynes.
"Hopefully it’s a position he can make his own. He’s got great pace and his defence is excellent as well."