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Quinlan: Gatland's fury with South African TMO is only mind games

Alan Quinlan has dismissed any concerns felt by Warren Gatland about the appointment of a South A...



Quinlan: Gatland's fury with S...
Rugby

Quinlan: Gatland's fury with South African TMO is only mind games

Alan Quinlan has dismissed any concerns felt by Warren Gatland about the appointment of a South African TMO for the first Lions test on Saturday afternoon. 

The South African Marius Jonker has been drafted in as a last-minute replacement Television Match Official after New Zealand’s Brendon Pickerill was unable to travel due to COVID-19.

A retired international referee, the 53-year-old made the move into the TMO booth in 2014. Despite reports that the British & Irish Lions are unhappy with the appointment of Jonker, it now appears as if he will be in situ for Saturday's first test in Cape Town.

Although Warren Gatland is yet to comment publicly on the situation, The Times have reported that the New Zealander is "furious" with the decision.

Former Ireland international Alan Quinlan is not sure what all the fuss is about.

"He is trying to put pressure on Marius Jonker," Quinlan suggested, highlighting the complaints Gatland made in the wake of the Lions' defeat to South Africa 'A' last week - a game featuring Jonker in the TMO booth.

Regarding the former Wales Head Coach's actions as nothing more than mind games, Quinlan is not surprised that Gatland would feel compelled to air any perceived grievances.

"This goes on right across the board," he remarked. "It doesn't surprise me that Warren Gatland comes out and plays those games.

"The whole world can see what decisions will be made with Marius Jonker as the TMO."

Nevertheless, Jonker's appointment is a strange one in a game of this stature.

"There's going to be more focus and emphasis on [Jonker]," Quinlan predicted, "but sometimes it is a bad thing having someone from your own country involved."

"Sod's law here though, we'll get a big call now and Marius Jonker will feel the pressure of the world watching."

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Alan Quinlan British & Irish Lions Marius Jonker Rassie Erasmus South Africa Springboks Warren Gatland

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