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“We all want the game to get safer”: Gloucester Rugby’s George Skivington on controversial red card

Gloucester Rugby Head coach George Skivington has no grievances over winger Ollie Thorley’s controversial red card in Saturday’s 20-19 victory away to Wasps.

In the 28th minute, Thorley clashed heads with Wasps’ fullback Rob Miller in the process of making a dominant tackle. Referee Matthew Carley deemed that the Cherry and Whites’ winger had not made enough effort in dropping the height of his tackle despite the television match official believing no foul play had been committed.

In the last three rounds of Gallagher Premiership fixtures, there have been eight sending offs after recent law changes from World Rugby that look to reduce the amount of contact with players’ heads.

 Despite his side being reduced to 14-men, Skivington believes it is for the good of the game, saying:

“We all want the game to get safer. There are measures in place and if your head touches anyone else’s head, it is a red card.

“We are all on board in making it safer, we all want to protect the players so I am a massive advocate of making the game safer.

“Someone like Ollie Thorley is one of the nicest people I have ever met and there is not a bad bone in his body. It’s those split-second moments and he didn’t even know it had happened.

“That’s happening across the league and it is happening every game unfortunately and we don’t want to see it continuing but there is this sticky phase of working out what is dangerous and what is realistic in a game.”

Gloucester have fallen foul to the new laws with a smattering of red and yellow cards. However, the Cherry and Whites boss was pleased it did not affect the result.

“We’ve had a few practices runs with 14-men unfortunately, so to fall on the right side of it is great. It is not something we want to continue doing, it does make life hard. You can’t fault the character and the way they stick in and stick together is a testament to them.”

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