Rugby referee loses injuries appeal


THE decision by the London Court of Appeal that a referee was to blame for crippling injuries suffered by a young rugby player, Ben Smoldon, has serious implications for the game.

Staffordshire official Michael Nolan (54), had his appeal against an earlier High Court ruling dismissed.

Smoldon, now 22, will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair after breaking his neck when a scrum collapsed during an under-19 match more than five years ago.

The High Court ruled last April that Nolan did not exercise reasonable care and skill in refereeing the scrums. Between 18 and 24 scrums collapsed at various stages of the game.