Robbie Deans: Lions Tests could be ruined unless referees are strict

Last Updated: 03/05/13 8:01am

  • Share:
Robbie Deans: Warning for Lions referees

Robbie Deans: Warning for Lions referees

Sky Bet

Australia coach Robbie Deans has appealed to the British and Irish Lions series referees to be strict at the breakdown.

New Zealand's Chris Pollock, South African Craig Joubert and France's Romain Poite will officiate the three Tests in June and July.

And Deans warned that unless they take firm control of the tackle area the matches will become turgid armwrestles between the two packs.

"You look at World Cups, the ante goes up and the breakdown changes and the nature of the game changes and I suspect this will be no different," Deans said.

"Just the adrenaline that'll be pumping through these blokes' veins, there's going to be a lot of pressure on the referees to manage that area.


"Because if that area isn't managed effectively, everyone's talking about the spectacle and so forth, there'll be no spectacle, you'll struggle to find the ball.

"You can only work in the circumstance that you're confronted with, so hopefully that will be an area that is adjudicated consistently and effectively. Otherwise it will just be...(Deans banged his fists together)"

Australia will be without their back-row talisman David Pocock because of injury. But he insists he has plenty of cover with Michael Hooper, Liam Gill and now veteran George Smith - back from his spell in Japan - all battling to replace him.

"There's some class players," he said. "You look at that cluster of David Pocock, Michael Hooper and Liam Gill, they're almost three once-in-a-generation players.

"It's fantastic, and they're still young men so they've got a lot of rugby ahead of them.

"Smith is just class. When David Pocock turned up and we had the two of them I was really hopeful we were going to have them side-by-side. But obviously at the time it was an understandable decision from George with a young family and four young kids and he wasn't seeing a lot of them with all the travel in the southern hemisphere.

"It worked out well for him and he's been lucky enough, it would appear, to come back and get a rare plum as well in a Lions series, so it's worked out well."

  • Share:


Lions tour 2013

Lions fans: Big boost for Australian economy

Lions boosted Aussie economy

The British & Irish Lions tour this summer gave the Australian economy an £88m boost.

Alun Wyn Jones toasts the Lions success with compatriot Sam Warburton in Sydney

Jones - I can't comprehend it

Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones admits to still suffering an "emotional hangover" after the historic series win.

Having won a series with the Lions, Jamie Roberts is plotting further success with Wales

Roberts: Lions can spur Wales

Jamie Roberts hopes the British and Irish Lions' series victory in Australia can spur Wales on to World Cup glory.

Most Popular


Rugby Roots

Rugby Roots

The Rugby Club is continuing its ‘Rugby Roots’ feature and wants to hear what makes your club so special!

The Off Load

The Off Load

Rupert Cox reviews the weekend's rugby including the brilliant All Blacks and the glorious Pumas.

Munster on the rise

Munster on the rise

Stuart Barnes says Munster will be the biggest threat to Leinster’s bid for a third Guinness PRO12 title.