Neil Jenkins backs referee Craig Joubert for Twickenham

By Richard WilliamsBBC Wales Sport at Twickenham
Craig Joubert
Referee Craig Joubert is 38-years old
Six Nations: England v Wales
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 12 March Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Neil Jenkins has backed referee Craig Joubert ahead of Saturday's key Six Nations match between England and Wales.

The coaches have accused each other of illegal scrummaging in the build up to the potential tournament decider.

England coach Eddie Jones said referees did not penalise Wales' scrum for fear of being accused of ruining games.

"Craig's been one of the best for a long time period and he'll assess the scrums as he sees them," said Jenkins.

"Irrelevant of what coaches say there will always be things said in the press, whether it be attack, scrummaging or contact area.

"It makes no difference to us, it's a humungous game irrelevant of anything else. Whatever the coaches say we've got a game to focus on tomorrow and a big Test match to win.

"I think very highly of Craig as a referee and I'm sure he'll have a good game tomorrow."

100% illegal

The two teams go into the game unbeaten, with England topping the table with three wins.

Jones claims Wales have scrummaged illegally throughout the tournament, saying: "100%. Terribly illegally."

Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde highlighted England's Joe Marler as a frequent infringer at the scrum.

A former fly-half and Wales' record international points scorer, Jenkins said the scrum was not his area of expertise.

"I leave that up to Warren Gatland and Robin McBryde," he added.

The last time referee Joubert officiated at Twickenham was the World Cup quarter final between Australia and Scotland where he awarded a controversial late penalty which the Wallabies kicked to win the match.

Jenkins said that incident would have no bearing on Saturday.

"When I first saw the incident I thought it was a penalty," Wales' kicking coach explained.

"Hindsight and replays are wonderful, but it was it is. I think very highly of Craig as a referee and I'm sure he'll have a good game tomorrow."

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