Steve Borthwick questions World Rugby silence on red card inconsistency after Tom Curry sending off

Steve Borthwick questions World Rugby silence on red card inconsistency after Tom Curry sending off

Steve Borthwick has delivered a thinly-veiled attack on World Rugby’s inconsistent Rugby World Cup officiating.

The England boss stopped short of direct criticism of major refereeing calls at the World Cup, that have lacked for consistency and clarity. But the 43-year-old could not resist slipping into a withering appraisal of the World Cup officiating so far.

Tom Curry was sent off for a head-to-head collision with Juan Cruz Mallia in England’s 27-10 victory over Argentina last weekend.

Chile’s Martin Sigren was only yellow carded for an eerily similar situation to Curry’s red card, while South Africa’s Jesse Kriel avoided any punishment at all for colliding with Scotland’s Jack Dempsey.

Romain Taofifenua also avoided punishment for a no-arms head hit in France’s victory over Uruguay on Thursday night.

When asked for his views on refereeing consistency or inconsistency in the World Cup, Borthwick replied: “Are you saying there isn’t any?

“It has been said and noted that there has been a large amount of commentary from different sources about what appears to be a lack of consistency and transparency in the decision-making process.

“Now it’s not my role to comment on that, it’s World Rugby’s.

“I also note there was a tremendous amount of comment from World Rugby on Owen Farrell for a couple of weeks during our preparation for this tournament. It was a situation that went on and on with lots of comment from World Rugby.

“I note there hasn’t been very many comments from World Rugby – I’m told – in the last week or so. I will leave that to World Rugby.”

Borthwick took a step back when asked if he wanted World Rugby to give greater explanations on their decisions.

He added: “It’s not my matter. It’s for World Rugby.”

World Rugby could take a dim view on Borthwick’s comments, but the governing body will ultimately be unable to take any kind of action in response to the England boss’ comments.

England will face Japan in Nice on Sunday, where they will seek their second Pool D victory in the competition.

Borthwick was in buoyant mood on Friday night after England announced their team to take on the Brave Blossoms.

The former England captain and second row’s demeanour has lifted significantly since the commanding victory over the Pumas last weekend.