May 24, 2024

Crusaders Super Rugby Coach and former All Blacks player Scott Robertson named today as All Blacks coach in 2024 at a press conference in Wellington, New Zealand. Tuesday 21 March 2023.

World Cup TMO steps away from Test rugby over abuse

English referee Tom Foley, who faced death threats following his role as the television match official at the Rugby World Cup final, has announced that he will be stepping back from officiating Test rugby for the foreseeable future. This decision was made public on Monday.

World Cup final TMO Tom Foley takes Test break after abuse and threats |  Rugby union | The Guardian

In October, Foley served as the TMO during the final clash between South Africa and New Zealand in Paris, where the Springboks emerged victorious with a score of 12-11, and the All Blacks saw their captain, Sam Cane, being sent off.

Last month, the 38-year-old disclosed that he and his family had been subjected to death threats since the World Cup, leading him to inform his children’s school about the situation.

This development follows Wayne Barnes, the referee of the final, retiring last month and citing the online abuse he endured, with his family members also becoming targets. Additionally, England captain Owen Farrell opted to take a hiatus from international rugby, missing the upcoming Six Nations, to prioritize his and his family’s mental well-being.

Wayne Barnes: Rugby World Cup final referee and record-breaker announces  retirement from officiating | Rugby Union News | Sky Sports

In a statement released by the Rugby Football Union, Foley explained, “The pressure and scrutiny I came under after the Rugby World Cup Final, along with a torrent of criticism and abuse online, has helped to reaffirm that this is the right decision for me at this point in my life.” Despite stepping away from Test rugby officiating, Foley will continue to referee in the English rugby domestic league, where he has already officiated in 48 Tests, four Champions Cup finals, and controlled over 200 Premiership games.

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