Paul Wellens and Paul Rowley referred to RFL compliance department over comments

Josh McAllister
Paul Wellens, Paul Rowley

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens and Salford Red Devils boss Paul Rowley.

St Helens boss Paul Wellens and Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley have been referred to the Rugby Football League’s compliance department, according to the BBC.

After Sunday’s Super League defeat to Saints, Rowley called referee Jack Smith “a disgrace” and launched a scathing attack on the standard of officiating.

The Red Devils fell to a late 18-15 defeat at home, having led 15-2 at half-time, with Jack Welsby scoring the match-winner 10 minutes from time.

The result marked Salford’s seventh straight loss in all competitions, leaving them outside of the play-offs on the Super League table.

Rowley said: “That’s three home games in a row now where we have been absolutely let down by the officials…it’s so hard.

“If we had won the game I would have probably have come in and said the same thing.

“I have watched (referee) Jack (Smith) a few times on telly and I think he’s been a disgrace a few times this year.

“I’m usually quite measured but the gloves are off for me. In the last few games we have been on the wrong side of things.

“I always worry about what we can do as a team but I thought the players did everything we asked of them.

“The game was decided by the officiating. I don’t think I can be criticised for saying how it is.

“I feel sorry for the players and fans.

“I’ll say my piece – I think I’m a fair man. I’m normally pretty cool about how I deliver my messages. (The standard of officiating) is weak, incompetent – it’s unacceptable. I think we’re probably going to lose fans.

“Pay refs what they’re worth to get more people excited about doing it and recruited.”

Paul Wellens referred by RFL following call out to governing body

Meanwhile, Wellens called out the governing body for its “failure to protect its players” following season-ending injuries to Alex Walmsley and Agnatius Paasi.

The pair suffered the respective blows during the Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Leigh, with John Asiata’s tackling technique coming into question.

Wellens, in his first season in charge at the Totally Wicked Stadium, believed the governing body failed his players after the Leigh skipper escaped any charges from the match review panel, having also injured Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Morgan Knowles with his controversial low tackles.

The RFL told BBC Sport that the Super League coaching pair had potentially breached the sport’s operational rules.

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