TV ref gets a babysitter

Linston Manuels will be “assisted” by former Test referee Freek Burger the next time he serves as a TV ref in the Vodacom Super 14.

Manuels’ confidence has taken a big knock since he failed to award a try to Akona Ndungane, which cost the Bulls their match against the Hurricanes at Loftus. Saru’s manager of referees, Andre Watson, admitted Manuels had made a mistake and withdrew him from TV duty until he’d recovered from the stinging criticism from the public and media.

A week later, however, Manuels was a touch judge for the Waratahs-Blues game, and he will be back in the TV ref’s booth on 15 April.

Saru say Burger’s presence is part of Manuals’ “training”.

Meanwhile, controversial Aussie ref George Ayoub – who was in charge for the Bulls-’Canes game – has been given the boot after a number of shocking performances.

He was scheduled to be the referee between the Bulls and Chiefs in Hamilton next weekend and the Cheetahs and Crusaders in Christchurch on 15 April.

Scott Young will now referee the match in Hamilton and Stuart Dickinson will be in charge of the match in Christchurch.