St Helens’ Paul Wellens and Salford Red Devils’ Paul Rowley face investigation over RFL and refereeing complaints

ST HELENS head coach Paul Wellens and Salford Red Devils boss Paul Rowley will face an investigation after being referred to the Rugby Football League’s compliance department in the wake of comments made against the governing body and refereeing standards.

Rowley, following Salford’s 18-15 loss to Saints at the weekend, labelled referee Jack Smith “a disgrace” following several controversial decisions.

“That’s three home games in a row now where we have been absolutely let down by the officials. It’s so hard,” Rowley said after the game.

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

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

“The game was decided by the officiating, I can’t be any clearer than that. I think it’s factual – I know it’s factual – I don’t think I can be criticised for saying how it is.”

Meanwhile, Wellens is being referred following comments made against the governing body for “failing to protect its players” in the wake of the Challenge Cup semi-final clash with the Leigh Leopards.

Saints had four men injured from that game – with Agnatius Paasi and Alex Walmsley out for the season – following tackles by Leigh’s John Asiata.

Asiata was subsequently cited for four tackles made during the game but wasn’t labelled, with Wellens launching a scathing attack on the RFL and Disciplinary Match Review Panel as a result.

“As a game, we bang the player welfare drum a fair bit and make a lot of effort and make a lot of strides as a game to protect players because ultimately we have a duty of care to protect our player at all times,” Wellens said.

“But, in my opinion, and very few would disagree with me, this weekend, the governing body has failed in its duty to protect its players.

“On the weekend, we had four players injured by one player tackling in a reckless and dangerous manner.

“I have an eight year old son who plays at Pilkington Recs with a smile on his face but if that’s the type of tackle we are allowing in games then maybe rugby league is a game I don’t want my son playing anymore. I feel that strongly about it.”