Joubert explains why he ran off the pitch

Date published: April 15 2016

Referee Craig Joubert has spoken out for the first time about why he ran off the pitch following last year's Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

Joubert's controversial decision to award Australia a penalty set up the Wallabies for a one-point win over Scotland at Twickenham.

One of the best games of the tournament, Joubert didn't hang around after the final whistle and was widely criticised for making a swift exit rather than shaking the hands of players from both sides.

Now the South African official, who has been selected to take charge at this year's Olympics in Rio, has explained his thinking at the time on the field and admitted that with hindsight he should have taken a different option.

"In my head was a desire to avoid any possible unseemly confrontation that would mar what had been a wonderful occasion,” Joubert told The Telegraph.

“I had it in my mind somewhere that there had been an incident between the official and the England coaches [Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree, for which they were later fined] in their match against Australia and I just didn’t want any of that to happen, not because I don’t understand the emotions of the moment for players and coaches, their desire for answers to questions, but just because I did not want that to become another possible incident.

"That was my thinking, not for myself but for the situation.

“In hindsight, would I have reconsidered that decision? Absolutely.”