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Safety first for Lawrence

16th November 2011 06:05

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bryce lawrence

Lawrence: Wary of South Africa

Under fire New Zealand-born referee Bryce Lawrence says he won't officiate in South Africa if he fears for his safety.

This comes after his performance at last month's World Cup quarter-final between the Springboks and Australia.

Lawrence's control of the October 9 quarter-final, won 11-9 by Australia to end South Africa' reign as world champions, was strongly criticised by Springbok players, coaching staff and fans.

Retiring Springbok captain John Smit said "the one positive (of retirement) is that I won't ever have to be reffed by him again" and a South African fan began a Facebook campaign entitled "Petition To Stop Bryce Lawrence Ever Reffing A Rugby Game Again."

Lawrence said in a radio interview on Wednesday he would not referee in South Africa "if there's any personal threat or I have concerns about my safety".

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