"England were robbed" – The most debated rugby decision have been ranked

In the world of rugby, referees bear the weight of one of the most challenging roles in the game.

Every single decision they make holds the potential to shape the fate of a match, and in some cases, even an entire season.

The path of a referee is paved with tough calls, and it’s virtually inevitable that they will face scrutiny and critique, often from players, coaches, and most vociferously, the passionate fans.

Distinguishing the finest referees often boils down to their capacity to endure criticism while consistently delivering the right verdict.

Nonetheless, rugby history is not without its share of glaring officiating blunders. Here, we recount five of the most egregious errors ever witnessed on the field.

Worst refereeing decisions in rugby:

1. Speargate on the Lions Tour

The first game of the Lions tour of New Zealand was swept into controversy following a horrific spear tackle on Captain Brian O'Driscoll, which ended his tour within minutes. The tackle, with O'Driscoll picked up by two players in the ruck, was against the rules, but the ref waved play on.

The moment caused a major knock-on effect in World Rugby, tightening up restrictions on spear tackling.

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