5 Aug 2010

Linesman dropped for Mitchell send off

6:15 am on 5 August 2010

The linesman Cobus Wessels has been axed for this weekend's New Zealand-Australia Tri-nations rugby clash because of a bad call that ultimately led to Wallaby winger Drew Mitchell being sent off in the first Bledisloe Cup match last weekend.

The South African ran the line in the All Blacks' 49-28 win over the Wallabies in Melbourne but was stood down by the International Rugby Board for Saturday's match in Christchurch.

It was on Wessels' recommendation that Mitchell, who was to be sent off in the second half, was yellow-carded for a late tackle on New Zealand flanker Richie McCaw in the first period.

The IRB referees chief Paddy O'Brien says Mitchell didn't deserve to be penalised let alone yellow carded.

New Zealander Keith Brown will run the line on Saturday in place of Wessels, who will act as the video referee.