Lion faces backlash from Twitterati over defence of Jordie Barrett
By Rugby Onslaught

Lion faces backlash from Twitterati over defence of Jordie Barrett

British & Irish Lions and England star Anthony Watson created a Twitter storm on Wednesday when he put his neck on the line and defended All Blacks fullback Jordie Barrett.

The All Blacks No15 was shown a red card on Sunday for booting Australia’s Marika Koroibete in the face while attempting to catch a high ball. However, the red card was rescinded this week and he will face no ban, which has proven to be controversial to say the least.

Watson, who plays in the same position as Barrett, Tweeted on Wednesday: “Can’t believe some people still think that Jordie Barrett high ball was a red card. Anybody who’s ever caught one (cue the lions jokes) knows this can happen when you’re off balance.”

Watson then faced a barrage of disagreement, with many taking objection to the argument that only a fellow professional can understand. He was probably expecting a response like this, and even covered all bases when referring to comments regarding catching high balls after having a tough time aerially agains the Springboks this year for the Lions.

Watson did state that Barrett got it wrong, but that it was simply a ‘rugby incident’ where a player had mistimed their jump and that there is no way he could have intentionally tried to kick Koroibete while still focussing on catching the ball.

He wrote: “He did get it wrong. But it can happen easily, it was accidental with no malice in it. It’s a “rugby incident”. Highlighting the fact you’ve never felt it is to provide context for the uncomfortable nature of being a bit of balance in the air.”

One person who did find this entire ordeal amusing was Watson’s England teammate, and fellow back three, Jack Nowell, who seemed to enjoy the responses and what was unravelling online.