Six Nations: Scott Johnson wants better refereeing

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Interim Scotland coach Scott Johnson has backed Rugby Union to exist in its present format despite fears in some quarters that the game will eventually have to take a leaf out of Rugby League’s book.

Announcing a two-change Scotland team for Saturday’s RBS Six Nations Championship visit to France – Grant Gilchrist gets a first cap and Al Strokosch returns – Johnson reflected on last weekend’s penalty-strewn encounter with Wales and noted that problem areas for Rugby Union in general centre on scrums and breakdowns.

When the Evening News put it to the 50-year-old from Australia, where League is the national sport, that the future could be 13-a-side he said: “I don’t think we should worry so much about that.

“What we should be worrying about is how games are refereed.”

Calling for continuity in refereeing interpretations, Johnson said: “The fact is we always want a contest for possession.

“The game is largely about being on your feet.

“It is just (about) rewarding positive play and getting rid of all the ambiguity.”

By common consent ambiguities are now rife and many feel only powerful vested interests are keeping the two codes of rugby apart.