I know I’m a little late out of the blocks with this post but regardless Big Daddy Rugby would like to express their complete disgust at the recent announcement that Mark Lawrence will not be refereeing at the World Cup later this year.
The “Leading Man” of rugby referees is being left at home. “Crouch, touch, pause, engage” will never sound the same again.
What makes the IRB’s decision even more galling is that they have decided to up the ante when it comes to pure comedy by giving Steve “make mine a double” Walsh the nod. Yep, Steve’s going to be there, but Mark’s not.
Not only is Lawrence a good ref, but his rapport with the players on the field is second to none. You never see him getting flustered or speaking to the players like they’re children (ala Johnny Kaplan). He’s cool, calm and collected, something the IRB reckons isn’t necessary for this World Cup.
This is a massive loss for the tournament and rugby lovers in general, so as a tribute to Mark, here are 5 facts about the man that you probably didn’t know:
Mark Lawrence has never eaten at the Spur
Mark Lawrence’s favourite album is “If you can’t stand the heat” by Status Quo
Mark Lawrence auditioned for the role of Dr Gregory House for the hit TV show “House”
Mark Lawrence had his heart broken by a girl named “Florine” in Brussels back in ’93
Mark Lawrence has the phrase “Courage doesn’t always roar” tattooed on his left shoulderYou’ll be sorely missed Mark, but you’ll always be in our hearts, World Cup 2011 ref or not.