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Alison de Villiers
BRYCE Lawrence, the man South Africans love to hate, will not referee any future Test matches.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) removed Lawrence, pictured, from its elite panel of referees, with head of referees Lyndon Bray confirming the news on EWN Sport.
“His time is over at (Test) level. It would be a huge task for Lawrence to return to the Test fold.”
The 41-year-old referee was not awarded any Six Nations matches this year and was also denied a chance to take charge of any matches in SA after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The New Zealand whistleman will be remembered as the person responsible for ending the Springboks’ World Cup dream in the 11-9 quarter-final defeat against Australia.
The Springboks dominated all areas of the game. But their complaints to Lawrence that the Aussies were slowing down the ball on numerous occasions fell on deaf ears and he was adamant that he would penalise a blatant offence only when he witnessed it himself.
Lawrence was named New Zealand’s top referee for 2011.
South Africans weren’t his only harsh critic and he felt the backlash in his home country too.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder lambasted Lawrence for his two crucial calls as the Touch Match Official during this year’s Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes, which Blackadder said had cost them the game.
There has been no comment from Lawrence.
“From an IRB perspective he has not been selected in the Test (arena). There’s a decision that we as selectors in the IRB made back in March. His time is over at that level,” said Bray.