Former Wallaby fullback Chris Latham has taken aim at pedantic refereeing in rugby union, which he believes is killing interest in the sport and neutering the physical contest at its core.

Speaking at media conference prior the Reds Waratahs game, Latham didn’t pull his punches in verbalizing what many fans – both inside and outside of Australia – feel about the direction the sport has taken.

Latham took aim at the handling of a recent citing for Reds prop Taniela Tupou over a clearout. The clearout was deemed to be good on the day in question but was later brought before a SANZAAR disciplinary panel anyway.

Luckily for the tighthead, it was deemed that the red card threshold has not been met and the citing was dismissed, saving the prop from a two-game suspension.

“I had some words I was going to say if it’d gone through; I would have been really unhappy about that,” Thorn said of the Tupou verdict.  “It’s good that common sense prevailed. If you’re going to make rulings around that sort of thing then you need to change the name of the game, call it something else. That was a very good clean out … the people and players enjoy that physicality. You don’t want to lose that.”

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