World Rugby say they are doing everything they can to cut down on head injuries in the sport, but it is difficult to take such claims seriously after incidents such as this one.
For almost everyone that saw it, Unai Atonio's high hit on Rob Herring in the Six Nations meeting between Ireland and France was the most clear cut red card you will ever see.
The Frenchman went in incredibly high on his opponent, with his shoulder making clear contact with the head of Herring. Not only that, the hit also had an incredible amount of force. It was hugely dangerous and it seemed that a sending off was inevitable.
Apparently, Wayne Barnes was the only one that didn't agree with that assessment.
Somehow, the English referee deemed the offence to only be worthy of a yellow card. It was an absolutely baffling decision.
Wayno has got this one wrong, high degree of danger, upright in tackle, arm tucked, no wrap and shoulder to head with huge force! Red card all day long! pic.twitter.com/F9xIQvvIGx
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) February 11, 2023
Barnes has been absolutely hammered as a result of the call and rightly so.
Brian O'Driscoll & Rory Best on Wayne Barnes decision
Speaking on ITV at halftime, Brian O'Driscoll said that while Ireland had perhaps been lucky to be awarded a James Lowe try earlier in the game, he had no idea how Atonio had avoided a red card on this occasion.
If Wayne Barnes did France a disservice on the try, he did them a big service here. He said there was enough force through the shoulder.
At no point is there any tilt from Atonio, his arm is tucked and it never looked like a wrap.
[Barnes] said that there is some force through the chest, well Rob Herring has now gone and failed a HIA. I think there is considerable force through his head.
They are incredibly lucky that that isn't a red.
Rory best agreed that France were 'incredibly lucky' not to be permanent reduced to 14 men.
It seems as though Wayne Barnes is the only person who thought this wasn't a red card. For someone who is supposed to be a top class referee, that really isn't good enough.