Scotland's Watson rues criticism of Fagerson red card

Edinburgh (AFP) –


Scotland flanker Hamish Watson has admitted his fierce criticism of the decision to send off team-mate Zander Fagerson during an agonising 25-24 Six Nations defeat by Wales was "poor".

Prop forward Fagerson was dismissed 13 minutes into the second half of Saturday's contest at Murrayfield with Scotland leading 17-15.

The decision came after Fagerson had made a shoulder-led challenge into opposing front-row Alun Wyn Jones at a ruck.

After the match, Scotland flanker Watson said the call was "rubbish", "absolutely dreadful" and "not rugby".

On Monday, replying to a tweet featuring a video of him making the remarks, Watson said: "Poor comments from me, emotions were very high after losing a very tight match. Players' health is paramount."

A week on from a historic victory away to England, Scotland led 17-8 at the interval before things turned around in the second half.

"That was a rubbish call. An absolutely dreadful call. That's not rugby, that call," said Watson when asked immediately after the match about Fagerson and his red card.

"We as players strongly disagree with that call. As soon as I saw it on the TV, I was thinking, 'That's not even a penalty'.

"There's not much else we can say. We don't think it's a red, a yellow or even a penalty. But that's the way the game is going."

Wales also benefited from an early red card for Ireland's Peter O'Mahony in their 21-16 win on the opening weekend of the Championship.

Rugby authorities are cracking down on hits to the head as the game grapples with the threat of repeated concussions.

A group of former players, including England's 2003 World Cup-winning hooker Steve Thompson, are exploring legal action against World Rugby, England's Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union after being diagnosed with neurological conditions.