Rugby can change refereeing; GAA makes a smooth return

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Wolves’ Jonny celebrates with his teammates after scoring their second during the Premier League win over Crystal Palace. Photo: Richard Heathcote/NMC/Pool

Wolves’ Jonny celebrates with his teammates after scoring their second during the Premier League win over Crystal Palace. Photo: Richard Heathcote/NMC/Pool

Refereeing is one of the most contentious issues in all sports but rugby now has the chance to improve its officiating after Alain Roolland stepped down World Rugby’s match officials manager, writes Gerry Thornley. “The game’s governing body now has an opportunity to perhaps overhaul the structure around refereeing and address the declining standard of rugby officiating. This is one of the biggest worries in the game,” he writes. Also in our rugby pages this morning, John O’Sullivan looks at how foreign fields now don’t look as promising for Irish players as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic leads to less money and less opportunity.

On to soccer and Mikel Arteta hopes Arsenal can get a new deal signed with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as soon as possible as the striker’s future remains unclear. Aubameyang’s brace against Manchester City on Saturday guided Arsneal to the FA Cup final but the in-form striker’s future is yet to be resolved. Last night Wolves remained in the European hunt by inflicting Crystal Palace’s seventh straight defeat on them while Everton damaged the hopes of Sheffield United with a second half Richarlison winner.

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