Newport Gwent Dragons: Lyn Jones attacks Pro12 standards

Lee Byrne is confronted by Connacht players
Captain Lee Byrne was yellow-carded in the defeat by Connacht

Newport Gwent Dragons boss Lyn Jones has branded the Pro12 a laughing stock over the standard of its officials.

He was critical that there was not a Television Match Official (TMO) for their 16-11 defeat at Connacht.

"We're still behind with assistant referees; not just with neutrality but with standards," said Jones.

A Pro12 spokesman said the officials "were neutral" and there was no TMO as the game was not televised live, so there were not enough cameras.

Jones, who is director of rugby at Rodney Parade, said: "The league has to have standards and has to come into the 21st Century.

"You have a number of professional leagues worldwide in which this is taken for granted and the league's still a laughing stock as long as it maintains these low standards."

The league spokesman said the TMO requires seven cameras in order to work and there was only one at Galway Sportsground.

He said it was "economically unfeasible" at the moment to send seven cameras to an untelevised game.

"We would welcome a report from Lyn but we haven't received one as yet," said the spokesman.

"Officials have been selected for the first four rounds of matches - any negative reports will be taken into account in the future [when selecting officials]."

The Dragons host the first Pro12 Welsh derby of the season on Friday when they face Ospreys.

Wales number eight Talupe Faletau will make his first start of the season against Ospreys after coming off the bench in Ireland.

Lloyd Piers retains the Ospreys captaincy in the continued absence of Alun Wyn Jones, who will be rested for the second game in a row in anticipation of a busy season.

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