Owen Doyle

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 The England scrum is pushed back during the World Cup final  in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Who saw that coming? Not me, for starters. The final produced a match that couldn’t really have been anticipated. England never got going, weren’t al(...)

Referee Jérôme Garcès talks to Welsh captain Alun-Wyn Jones    during the Rugby World Cup  semi-final match between South Africa and Wales at the International Stadium Yokohama on Sunday. Photograph:  Mark R Cristino/EPA

Epic. A game for the ages. England fairly thrashed New Zealand, and Eddie Jones won the battle of the coaches. Steve Hansen had no excuses, didn’t in(...)

What was Jaco Peyper (centre) thinking at that moment? The answer is, unfortunately, probably “nothing”. Photograph: Ashley Western/PA Wire

Inevitably, and disappointingly, I must start with the Jaco Peyper photograph. After Wales’s 20-19 win over France in the quarter-finals, he joined wi(...)

Bundee Aki: will miss the World Cup quarter-final due to the red card he received in the victory over Samoa. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Firstly, as promised on Monday, let me revert to Bundee Aki. As the ‘tackle’ went in I noted: “That’s bad”. On the replay: “Damn, it’s definitely a re(...)

Referee Wayne Barnes (right) and assistant referee Romain Poite during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between South Africa and Italy at Ecopa Stadium in Fukuroi last Friday. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

We started out in September looking at the focus areas for the match officials. So let’s see what’s been happening so far. Firstly, when we look at h(...)

USA flanker John Quill is shown a red card by referee Nic Berry after a dangerous tackle on England’s Owen Farrell during their Rugby World Cup Pool C game at  Kobe Misaki Stadium. Photograph: Craig Mercer/Inpho

On the very first re-viewing of John Quill’s 70th-minute shoulder charge on Owen Farrell on Thursday in Kobe, referee Nic Berry probably had his mind (...)

England’s Owen Farrell tackles South Africa’s Andre Esterhuizen during the Autumn International match at Twickenham. Photograph:  Adam Davy/PA Wire

World Rugby has issued its clearest guidelines yet in clarifying what constitutes a penalty, yellow card or red card in the instances of shoulder char(...)

The current ’clear out’ in rugby is a strange, dangerous combination of sumo and judo.

While there is no doubt that World Rugby takes player safety seriously the breakdown post tackle – the ruck – needs to be looked at much more proactiv(...)

Helen O’Reilly has been appointed onto the IRFU referee panel following her performances in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup

Helen O’Reilly has become the first female to join the IRFU National Referee Panel following impressive performances in the Women’s Rugby World Cup ea(...)

Referee Luke Pearce kept control of the decision and did his job correctly in sending off Tom Court against Leinster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The next challenge for the Pro 12 is to eradicate the sloppy officiating that has become all too evident in recent months. Referees are not the proble(...)

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