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The body that runs rugby around the globe “World Rugby” have announced that the game’s High Performance Match Officials Manager Joel Jutge will step down in April.
Jutge has been in charge of refereeing for four years and many fans feel that the standard of refereeing has continued to drop under his tenure.
The recent Rugby World Cup 2015 in England was filled with examples of inconsistency from the officials on and off the field.
One of the low-light’s of the game was South African referee Craig Joubert sprinting from the field after blowing the Rugby World Cup quarter final between Australia and Scotland.
World Rugby followed that up by throwing “Joubert” under the bus with a statement 24 hours after the match stating that the South African had got it wrong and awarded Australia a penalty that cost Scotland the victory.
World Rugby were widely condemned for thieir treatment of Joubert and the way that they had acted in the whole scenario.
Retired referee and Joubert’s mentor Jonathan Kaplan admitted during the World Cup that the current standard of referees is not good enough for the pinnacle of the game.
“I think possibly there’s four or five that are of the right quality, and the other six, seven or eight (in the World Cuo) that are trying to get there,” said Kaplan in October.
The game’s ruling body has issued a statement filled with the usual praise and denial of the real state of the match officials but said that Jutge feels the time is right to look for a new challenge.
“I have enjoyed this role enormously and it has been a pleasure to work with so many great people within this game we all love. I am very grateful to the referees, who work so hard at what they do. They have been willing to learn more and determined to improve. I am also grateful to John Jeffrey, the referee managers and everyone at World Rugby for their support and expertise.
“I also enjoyed working with the national team coaches. We developed strong relationships based on mutual respect and open communication that allowed us always to express our views clearly and productively. It certainly has been a challenging and ultimately rewarding journey, but the time is right for me to move on and spend more time with my family.”
Chairman of World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee John Jeffrey said,”I would like to thank Joel for his hard work, dedication and enthusiasm over the past four years for what is an incredibly intense and difficult job. ”
“The officiating during Rugby World Cup 2015 was of the highest standard and that is testament to the work he has put in over the last four years.”
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